#RVAThrive: How we’re giving back during COVID-19 – and how your business can pass it on

We know these are trying times for local businesses, and we want to do our part to keep business flowing. We put our heads together and thought about a few of the local businesses we frequent as a team, from our go-to coffee shop to the places we’re calling in lunch orders for meetings. 

Since our team is working from home to do our part to #flattenthecurve, we might not be patronizing these businesses like we regularly would – but we want them to feel the love.

We came up with #RVAThrive.

We’re going to buy a $100 gift card (or place an order) to five businesses and use them to pay it forward, coordinating a delivery to first responders who are working hard to keep us all safe and well. We’ll announce a new local business we’re supporting every day next week and why our team loves them.

RVA businesses: We hope you’ll join us in choosing five local businesses to support next week and pay it forward in a way that makes sense for you and your team.

Ironclad Coffee Roasters

To kick things off, we’re supporting Ironclad Coffee Roasters. When founder Ryan O’ Rourke opened Ironclad Coffee Roasters just a block away from our office back in 2018, it was a game-changer for our team. We pop over for quality coffee, breakfast sandwiches and of course, the coffees shop vibes on an almost daily basis. So, when we thought about who we wanted to support with this campaign, Ironclad was at the top of our list.

How we’re paying it forward: We’ve placed an order and tomorrow, Ironclad will be delivering $100 worth of cold brew to the emergency department staff at VCU Health System.

How you can help:

  • If you want to support Ironclad Coffee Roasters, the team is offering curbside pick-up and delivery. You can place orders through a new mobile ordering app (just search Ironclad in the app store) or call them directly. You can buy a cold brew or shop for freshly roasted beans from the comfort of your couch!
  • Encourage your company to join us in #RVAThrive!

Salt & Forge

On our second day of giving, we’re supporting local Jackson Ward restaurant Salt & Forge. We bring in lunch so often from here for internal and client meetings that we all have a favorite item from the menu – looking at you, superfood salad!

How we’re paying it forward: We’ve placed an order and tomorrow Salt & Forge will deliver lunch to a team of 12 therapy workers at Johnston-Willis Hospital. This particular crew is near and dear to our office since Ryan O’Bar, the husband of Hodger Lindsay O’Bar, is on the team and on the job at the hospital ensuring that people of all ages are able to continue receiving the therapy services they need.

How you can help:

  • If you want to support Salt & Forge, the restaurant is offering pickup and delivery services. Those interested in a gourmet sandwich or salad can order online at www.saltandforge.com/order. Salt & Forge is also selling gift cards to support its staff.
  • Encourage your company to join us in #RVAThrive!

Jo Jo’s Famous Pizza

For day three, we’re supporting our favorite local pizza joint – Jo Jo’s Famous Pizza, which has been serving pizza to downtown Richmond for twenty years now. We have a tradition at Hodges we like to call “pizzastorming” where we combine – you guessed it – pizza and brainstorming once a month. For years, Jo Jo’s has fueled our brainstorms and we’ve had a lot of employee bonding over cheese and pepperoni pies and salads.

How we’re paying it forward: We’ve placed an order and tomorrow, Jo Jo’s will be delivering six pizzas to a team from the Richmond Police Department so they can enjoy lunch on us.

How you can help:

  • If you want to support Jo Jo’s, the restaurant is offering pickup and delivery services. If you pick up an order, they also sell gift cards that can be redeemed at a later date. The Jo Jo’s menu is available online and you can call 804-225-9600 to place an order. After speaking with the owner today, I know how much your business would mean to them right now.
  • Encourage your company to join us in #RVAThrive!


We are really, really lucky to have a dangerously good bakery within walking distance of our office. Since Morgan Botwinick opened Whisk in October 2015, treats from the bakery case at Whisk have played a central theme at our office celebrations. We’ve had Whisk pies at our annual office Thanksgiving potluck, whisker cookies at birthday celebrations and macarons at Hodger baby showers.

How we’re paying it forward: We ordered a big platter of goodies from Whisk (chocolate chip and whisker cookies, oatmeal sandwiches, blondies and brownies) and we’re going to be delivering them to the Medical Respiratory ICU at VCU as a Friday afternoon pick-me-up for the team.

How you can help:

  • If you want to support Whisk, you can place an order online for pickup or snag a gift card for future use. All you need to do is visit the website or give them a call and Morgan and the team will help you out. If you really want to take your support to the next level, consider getting a macaron membership.
  • Encourage your company to join us in #RVAThrive!

King of Pops

It’s officially spring, which is just about the time every year that Richmonders start thinking about King of Pops. The pop pushcarts around town bring on an instant smile – after all, who doesn’t like having their day made with sweet treat?! Things are looking a little bit different Richmond this spring, but King of Pops is still finding plenty of ways to spread joy.

How we’re paying it forward: We sent the Feed More team a pick-me-up in the form of popsicles as a big thank you for all the work the whole team is doing to feed people in the Richmond community who are hungry and facing food insecurity. That need is especially apparent right now.

How you can help:

  • You can buy a pop token from King of Pops by emailing nils@kingofpops.com – goodness knows we could all use a popsicle to look forward to!
  • Consider giving to Feed More to help fight hunger, where the team can turn every dollar donated into four meals for someone in need.
  • Encourage your company to join us in #RVAThrive!

Megan Irvin

Megan spends her days doing media relations, community relations, content creation and events for clients like Kroger Mid-Atlantic, Federal Realty and Mercy Chefs. Her favorite part of her job is working with clients and providing strategic counsel — and garnering media attention for clients in outlets like TODAY, Esquire, USA Today and Bon Appetit.

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