Firehouse Farms Takes Top Prize at the Floyd C4 Business Development Series

November 2, 2021

The 7th annual Floyd C4 Business Development series came to a close on Monday, November 1st, as 6 of the participants in the 6-week business development series gave their best pitch to judges.  Again, this year the program was entirely online.  Contestants had already submitted written business playbooks, which were confidentially scored by 3 judges in and around the larger southwest Virginia region. Each business had 10-minutes to pitch followed by 20 minutes of questions and answers with the judges. The pitches included a new cookie e-commerce business, an Asian food truck, a new mercantile in Indian Valley, a holistic health service, a new meat processing business, and an outdoor recreation business.

Firehouse Farms, LLC was the top place winner, earning $5,000 to use toward their new meat processing facility. Co-Owner Madeline Akers, will use the funding to put toward equipment, located in Willis. Akers said, “Floyd C4 is AMAZING! I have learned so much through this competition, and all the knowledge and the relationships that were made there are going to benefit our business so much. This is such an remarkable opportunity for anyone who wants to be a small business owner. I also would like to thank Tabitha Hodge and Lydeana Martin, they are absolutely amazing! They are probably the biggest resource in Floyd County for anyone who is interested in owning or operating a small business. They have helped us in so many ways and we are beyond grateful.”

Firehouse Farms, LLC Co-Owner Madeline Akers

Metta Meals, LLC took second place and a $3,000 prize. Owner Rashminder Hargis will bring an organic focused ethnic vegetarian food trailer to Floyd.  The food trailer will specialize in a variety of soups and curries, popular Indian food, rice dishes, stuffed flatbreads and more.  Rashminder will serve meals from her food trailer in the Town of Floyd.

Metta Meals, LLC Owner Rashminder Hargis

Floyd Outdoors won third place and a $1,5000 prize. Owners Joe Tesauro, Jonathan Vandergrift and Paul Sullivan will open a bicycle repair shop by Spring 2022 and expand into retail sales within the next two years.  The store is conveniently located across the street from the Floyd Family Campground on Franklin Pike.  

Floyd Outdoors Co-Owners Joe Tesauro and Jonathan Vadergrift

“We are always so impressed by the skills, passion and creativity that Floyd County residents bring to the Floyd C4 program. Floyd County is blessed with great and hard-working entrepreneurs that we are excited to support,” said Jon Beegle, chairman of the Floyd County Economic Development Authority, which sponsors the program each year.

The Floyd C4 Business Development Series, funded by the Floyd County Board of Supervisors, provides 6 weekly sessions on business start-up, marketing, finance, operating a business and how-to-pitch. C4 stands for Curriculum, Creators, Coaches and Challenge. “The Roanoke Small Business Development Center is a tremendous partner with us in presenting important information, answering questions and also doing one-on-one business counseling with participants. The Floyd County EDA is fortunate to have great partners that make this possible—including the County, the Town, Virginia Community Capital, and the New River Valley Regional Commission,” Lydeana Martin, Community & Economic Development Director added, “We look forward to continuing to work with all of the businesses who participated in the Floyd C4 and seeing them grow and succeed in Floyd.”

Winner Announcement

For more information, contact Tabitha Hodge at or 540 745-9300 or by cell at 540 315-0956.