Chamber Insider Blog

Spotlight on the 2020 SBA Finalists! Tony Stafford, Ford’s Fish Shack

Congratulations to Tony Stafford, owner of Ford’s Fish Shack for being finalists for Loudoun’s Top Entrepreneur of the Year! The livestream of the 26th Annual Loudoun Small Business Awards will premier Friday, November 13, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. on our Facebook Page.  View all 2020 SBA Finalists here.


Tell us about your business, how it got started, and how it has evolved into what it is today.

We celebrated 10 years this past September, which was a major accomplishment for us. I never thought we would have 3 locations, a mobile operation, and a catering division. When I look back on how we have been able to grow, I am amazed to see all we have been able to accomplish in a really short time. We strive every day to be the best neighborhood restaurant for our guests and to stay their favorite restaurant when choosing where to dine out. Today I still have the same standards as I did when we first started. Every plate that comes out of the kitchen is prepared with passion to be the best tasting and prepared with the freshest ingredients to give the best value to every guest that comes into our restaurants.

What would it mean for you and your business to win Loudoun’s Top Entrepreneur of the Year?

Winning this award would be an honor for not only me but for every employee and manager who has worked for me past and present. Over the years a lot of great individuals have dedicated countless hours to Ford’s, so we can attempt to give every guests that dines with us a great experience. So winning this award would be additional recognition given to all of us who have committed themselves at Ford’s over the years. It would be recognition that our guests and community do notice the hard work we put in every day.

What is the smallest thing that has made the biggest impact on your business?

Social media has really grown during the last 10 years and working with a great social media/PR team these last few months has really shown me what power there is by staying in front your community. During the current pandemic it has really made a huge impact in staying in touch with them and just letting them know that we are here during this trying time.

Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?

Not just one but both my parents have had a huge impact on my life. They taught me the value of hard work, to not do anything halfway, and never quitting before crossing the finish line.

What is your favorite thing about running your business in Loudoun County?

Just being able to go out into the dining rooms and thank the guests for dining with us and choosing Ford’s as their favorite Neighborhood Restaurant.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I actually wanted to be a Civil Engineer.

What is a book that changed your life, and WHY?

“Good to Great” by Jim Collins

When you’re not at your desk, where can we find you on the weekends/what is another passion you have?

I love vintage cars and trucks. I may have a few.

How do you see your business evolving in the next 5 years?

I think that people will still want to eat out. They may just want to spread out a little more, or take their food into outdoor settings more often. You will see Ford’s continue to grow, maybe in ways that will surprise you!


Congratulations again to Tony Stafford and his team at Ford’s Fish Shack! Check out their website here.