Four area companies to receive Spark Awards for business innovation

Taste-T-Love Baby Food provides natural baby food made with organic ingredients to parents who prefer homemade food. CONTRIBUTED

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Taste-T-Love Baby Food provides natural baby food made with organic ingredients to parents who prefer homemade food. CONTRIBUTED

Better Business Bureau, serving Dayton and Miami Valley, will present its fourth annual Spark Awards at the Torch Awards for Ethics on May 10 at the David H. Ponitz Sinclair Center.

The Spark Awards recognizes business owners 35 and under or business owners of any age operating for less than three years, who demonstrate a higher level of character, generating a culture that’s authentic about its mission and connect with community.

The Class of 2022 honorees are: Agape Media, Pink Moon Goods, Taste T Love Baby Food and Tumble LLC.

The Class of 2022 honorees will not only be spotlighted at the event before Miami Valley business leaders, they will also be involved with telling their stories at BBB events throughout the year. Sinclair Community College is giving a $500 scholarship to the winners for continued professional development.

Agape Media

The business specializes in video and photo production. By using light and sound, stillness and motion, filming and editing, heart and soul, Agape Media uncovers the best versions of stories to be told. The founder strives for integrity and trust in its workplace that reflects the success of its clients. Developing the business on deep friendships mixed with pre-established trust and respect, its team has the best interest for each other as individuals and the company. The ultimate goal for the team’s production is to be that craftsman and collaborative partner that builds virtual connections through storytelling. The company hasn’t hesitated to give back to the community. It works alongside and partners with local companies or nonprofits whenever possible. It’s committed to Declare, City of Trotwood, Elija Seabrook (artist and producer), Vandalia Barbershop, as well as nine different Christmas productions during the pandemic in 2020.

Jason Elam, co-founder of Agape Media says, “At the end of the day, the heart and soul of storytelling and content creation is about building virtual connections. Through stories, you can hear someone’s heart, see their vision, build empathy, inspire, lead, connect, engage and so much more. A story without a platform does not have much power beyond the ears of the holder…but when you can amplify the message and help bridge a connection, it has the ability to cause ripples and impact the world.”

Pink Moon Goods

This business specializes in crafting a selection of home goods that combine skill, intelligence and virtue for ethical living. The founder’s goal is supporting both the local economy and global market by bringing the best products to customers. Its priority is to source goods that promote sustainable practices with natural materials, promoting its commitment to reduce the carbon footprint. It views every new project as an opportunity to build a reputation for excellent service through designing, crafting and delivering a quality experience and product for every client. Operating with dedication and personal connections, it’s always welcoming others’ input and willing to ask for help to improve. They know creating trust will allow the business to adapt a positive brand image. In its efforts to give back, the founder has partnered with YWCA Dayton on multiple projects. The owner is also involved with GoRecycle to provide battery recycling.

Kathleen Hotmer, founder and owner of Pink Moon Goods, says, “As a business owner whose primary mission is to find ways to help the community reduce their plastic consumption, I definitely have felt the need of being a role model and have taken to this role naturally. Furthermore, it has increased my passion for reducing waste and supporting ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint. Not only am I taking more steps in my own life, I am now helping others find ways to do this. I have had to learn how to communicate the ways of reducing waste with customers and to explain just how making a simple purchase in my shop can help this effort.”

Taste T Love Baby Food

Noticing a demand for homemade baby food, Taste T Love Baby Food - a company that offers convenient, nutritious and affordable options for customers - got its start. It creates homemade food options for first time eaters, toddlers and a growing population of all other ages and genres of people. From the start of its journey, the business has grown to serve outside of just online subscribers and farmer’s markets. Focusing on feedback, communication, transparency and recognizing the constant need for improvement is vital to the success of a leader, the team and business. Allowing the team to shine in different areas is a major factor contributing to how the business thrives. Showing support for the community, the team has given back in unique ways, such as partnering with childcare centers who are under Child and Adult Care Food Program and recently securing a partnership with Dayton Children’s Hospital.

Kourtney Terry, CEO of Taste T Love Baby Food, shares, “As a first-time business owner, I am always looking for ways to learn and grow. Every opportunity to talk about and sell my product is an opportunity to grow whether at a farmer’s market or local baby event. One thing I’ve learned as a business owner is it’s important to be confident in what you’re selling. Doing research and, most importantly, talking to customers has helped tremendously with the growth of myself as a business owner and my business alike. The truth is, although this is my business, it has been built by my customers. Getting the perspective of other parents has been key to building menu options and convenient service opportunities. I cannot thank them enough for this award.”

Tumble

A minority-owned, on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning start-up in the Miami Valley, Tumble was inspired by the owners after a personal struggle with laundry and dry-cleaning while living on a college campus. The team believes empathy, dedication, passion and hard work are key factors in building relationships and making a positive impact in the community. By bettering the business, it continues to devote itself to providing excellent customer service. Creating an honest and open policy in the workplace allows new ideas, growth and value to the business as a whole. With a mission to give back to the community, it recently partnered with Clothes That Work. For every order the business receives, it donates one article of clothing to Clothes That Work. The plan is simple - the more the business grows, the more it donates.

Co-founder, Jeffrey Caldwell II, says, “Without becoming business owners, Charles and I would not have learned the valuable lesson of getting outside of our comfort zone. We’ve learned that opportunity never comes without risk and sacrifice. Charles and I have worked and dedicated countless hours to our business. We work hard to make our business better by listening to our customers, staying on top of the latest trends within the business industry, and noticing what our customers expect from us. As two young African-American males to be given the opportunities to be taken seriously by business owners, innovators and leaders within the Miami Valley community speaks volumes to the support we have and our opportunities to grow our business and give back to the community.”