To see the FULL list of SBA Finalists, click here.
1. Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
North Gate Vineyard is owned and operated by Mark and Vicki Fedor. We planted our first vines in 2002 on our property and began trying our hand at winemaking. From 2003-2006 we were working as winemakers for Corcoran Vineyards, another winery in Loudoun County, where our vintages won over 50 medals in both national and international competitions. In 2007, North Gate became a fully licensed Farm Winery and we began operating from our garage. We sold our North Gate wine at several farmers’ markets 5-6 days a week, festivals, restaurants, and other retailers, and also opened to the public for farm tours twice a year. Soon we reached the garage’s production capacity, so we built a tasting room and production facility on our property which became LEED gold certified; the first of it’s kind in Northern Virginia. We have over a decade of experience in the winemaking industry here in Loudoun and that has made us confident in our award winning wines and our environmentally-conscious practices.
2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
If we were to win a Small Business Award, it would reaffirm that the long, tireless hours, missed vacations and social gatherings, juggling finances, and daily struggles have all been worth it. Of course we know that, but to be formally recognized for our hard work and dedication by the Chamber would give us great satisfaction and re-energize us going into the future.
3. If you weren’t running your own business, what would you be doing?
If we weren’t running our own business we would be more involved in Mark’s other endeavour, which is consulting for a company that provides tools and technology services to individuals to promote wellness and personal performance improvement via applied neuroplasticity.
4. What book are you reading right now? / What is your favorite book?
One of Vicki’s favorite books right now is “The Four Agreements” by Don Migual Ruiz.
5. What is your favorite app (computer/phone)?
Our favorite apps are MapMyRun and MyFitnessPal.
6. If you have 24 hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
Vicki would spend time outside, possibly hiking with friends, cook something for dinner that nobody else would enjoy, and end with a Food Network watching binge. Mark would go running, catch up on work, and read.
7. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
The smallest thing that has made the largest impact on our business is our marriage, and our commitment to support each other.
8. What did you want to be when you grew up? / What was a childhood dream that you had?
Vicki’s childhood dream was to help other people. Maybe by being a teacher or a nurse. Now I get to help people relax and enjoy each other’s company!
9. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
The one person who has influenced us the most in this career is Doug Fabbioli. He was our first teacher and mentor. He always gave us the tools and knowledge we needed to get started, then let us figure it out on our own. He is fabulous at teaching you how to not need him anymore. He has helped so many in Loudoun and beyond succeed in this industry, and he is still always there to help if we need him.
10. What is your favorite thing about living/running a business in Loudoun County?
This is a beautiful place to live. It’s home to us. We feel safe here, and wake up every day being thankful for this lovely land that we get to live on and farm. The people are also very friendly and supportive – from our neighbors, to our customers, and county employees. We get tremendous support from Visit Loudoun and the Chamber. We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!
Thanks, Vicki Fedor, of North Gate Vineyard, and congratulations on your nomination!
Click here to see all of the “Meet the Finalists” posts.
We will be continually posting them as the event approaches.
The 22nd Annual Loudoun Small Business Awards is Friday, November 4th! Register Here