Woodie wins chamber's small business award
Last modified: Mar. 21, 2013
In his younger years, Keith Woodie, owner of Antiques on Main, could be found at his local barbershop shinning shoes.
On Tuesday, he was found standing before his peers at West Jefferson United Methodist Church accepting the 2013 Ashe County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award.
The recipients of the award are determined each year by the chamber’s members service committees, which mulls over a pool of applicants before naming a winner, said chamber Executive Director Cabot Hamilton.
Last year’s winners, Randall and Chad Scott of Scott Brothers Heating and Air, introduced Woodie as this year’s winner.
“I went to school with this year’s winner,” Randall Scott said. “I could tell you a lot of stories about him, but we wont’ get into that. He has worked and walked the streets of West Jefferson for many, many years.”
Scott recalled one day seeing Woodie at a barbershop shinning shoes, trying to make a little extra cash.
“I remember him always working, whether it was for extra money or for any kind of advantage,” Scott said. “He’s gone from shining shoes to having a 23,000-square-foot shopping center in West Jefferson. He was also instrumental in starting the antique’s fair in town.”
With that, Scott gave up the “big surprise” of who was this year’s winner and introduced Woodie with a beaming smile and handshake.
“I’m very humbled and honored for this award,” Woodie said. “It really touches my heart. I’ve worked really hard with Antiques on Main.”
Woodie said his business has “grown” in time when many businesses have faltered in the face of a shaky economy.
Woodie said his business had roughly 5,000 feet of floor space and within 1.5 years had grown to 13,000 feet. Today, Woodie said the antique’s shop spans more than 23,000 feet of relics and collectibles.
“It has been absolutely amazing,” Woodie said. “It has gone beyond what I ever dreamed it could. We are still growing.”
Before leaving the stage, Woodie thanked his savior, Jesus Christ, his family and friends, while choking back tears.
Before the presentation, last year’s winners, Scott enumerated the advantages and luxuries of the Small Business of the Year award.
“Any advertising we did from that point forward, we had this award posted with it,” Scott said. “Even though 2012 is gone, this is something that is forever. It really meant a lot to us. We may not be able to use it in marketing (like we did before) but it is something we can always fall back on. I’m proud to say that we had one of our best years in 2012. This award just kicked it off.”
Following the award presentation, chamber members and guests were treated to a home-cooked meal of chicken and vegetables followed by dessert.
Scott Ballard, vice president of the Ashe Chamber Board of Directors, then presented the 2013 Ashe Visitor and Business Guide.