In 2020, many Coastal Virginia businesses overcame the challenges of a turbulent economy and operating in a pandemic to open or expand upon their business. Here are three businesses that opened in 2020 and introduced a new concept to the marketplace.
Fuelie is making it easier for boaters to load up and fuel their vessels, all at once. Fuelie is a mobile fueling station that’s bringing ultra-clean fuel to yacht and boat owners through a partnership with Capps Boatworks. Fuelie’s trailers use a patented two-stage filtration system to provide the cleanest fuel possible, allowing marinas to supply boaters with clean fuel on-site. Capps Boatworks, a boat yard on Virginia Beach’s Long Creek, is the first location to use Fuelie’s innovative technology and has already added a viable revenue stream for Capps, while also solving boaters’ long-standing dirty fuel issues.
The Hubs Vine
In January 2020, Hubbard Peanut Company began to expand its warehouse facility by revamping a former grocery store in Franklin. After realizing the potential that the space had, the company introduced a new concept in late September called The Hubs Vine, a combination production facility and modern market. The Hubs Vine sells Hubbard’s famous Virginia peanuts, along with beer, wine, coffee and even ice cream all sourced from the Commonwealth, including the ViBe District’s own Lolly’s Creamery and Three Ships Coffee. Now outfitted with televisions, cozy seating, games and made-to-order lunch items, The Hubs Vine is also a family-friendly hangout and unofficial welcome center to the area, according to Hubs’ director of sales and marketing Marshall Rabil.
While much of the travel industry came to a halt during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rapid Overland Express’ (ROX) luxury charter business increased organically thanks to its smaller charter size. With the help of a $110,000 grant from the Virginia Beach Development Authority, ROX founder Jeffrey McWaters was able to expand his business to Virginia Beach in early January 2020. Similar to a private jet, ROX charters boast amenities such as: comfortable seating, an on-board concierge, free Wi-Fi, on-board meals from TASTE, and beer, wine and cocktail service. In mid-August, ROX initiated elevated sanitizing protocols and installed state-of-the-art air filters to transport leisure and business travelers from Virginia Beach to Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville, with plans to broaden service to other markets.