, , , , , , , , , , ,

021006_BlueRibbon2014_Final_72px1“From the moment our doors opened in 2006, we knew we wanted Söntés to fill the space within our walls with great local food and award-winning wines, excellent and caring service, and a fun atmosphere,” says Söntés proprietor Tessa Leung. “And from Day One, we knew that these things were just the start: We wanted to extend our reach into the community by being good neighbors, good stewards, and by making a difference wherever we could.”

We are pleased to announce that Söntés Restaurant has just been named a national Blue Ribbon Small Business Award Winner by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce! This Blue Ribbon award puts Söntés in the running for the prestigious Community Excellence Award, voted on by you! Click to cast your vote for Söntés: goo.gl/Qgycmo!

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce chose their top 100 small businesses nationwide to be Blue Ribbon Small Business Award Winners, representing the best in American small business. This year’s Top 100 were chosen from a record number of applicants and distinguished themselves through their professional accomplishments, community leadership, philanthropy, customer service, and employee relations.

“The Chamber is proud to honor these outstanding small businesses for their contributions to the country’s economic recovery and continued hard work in their communities,” says U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “They represent the creativity, the determination, and the resilience of the U.S. business community and are examples of the enormous potential of businesses and employees across the country.”

As a Blue Ribbon Award Winner, Söntés is automatically entered into the running for the Community Excellence Award, which aims to recognize the Blue Ribbon company that goes above and beyond to be an active leader and participant in their local community. The award is designed to highlight a business that has found success in the eyes of its community–and it’s awarded based on public voting.

Over the years, Söntés has built quite a track record, participating in Thursdays on First, SocialIce, PrideFest, the St. John’s Block Party, Irish Fest, and hosting wine tastings and educational events at the restaurant and throughout the city. Recently, Söntés Chef Trevor Garrett began teaching cooking classes in the community, and last year, Söntés launched the first-in-the-nation Straw-Bale rooftop garden, revolutionizing urban gardening by proving that a century-old building can support a garden without the need of heavy infrastructure. Söntés launched the first ever block party in Rochester, inviting neighboring businesses to participate in the fun and wildly successful collaboration. And don’t forget the Söntés Gallery Exhibition, a program inviting local artists in all media to showcase and sell their work from the restaurant. Söntés Restaurant donates regularly to the Boys and Girls Club, the Gift of Life Transplant House, the March of Dimes, the Rochester Civic Theater, the Rochester Art Center, the Stay out of the Sun Run, C4, and Dining Out for Life. Proprietor Tessa Leung is a board member of the Rochester Downtown Alliance, the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and the People’s Food Coop, and is a community member of the Market Street Steering Committee, Downtown Cultural Initiatives Committee, Women in Leadership, and Operation Starfish with the United Way.

Says Tessa, “On behalf of myself and the staff, we are all deeply honored to be chosen in the Top 100 in the nation for the Blue Ribbon Small Business Awards, and we are thrilled to be in the running for the Community Excellence Award! At Söntés, we always have and will continue to dream big. Thank you all!”

Please vote, and share: goo.gl/Qgycmo!  The polls for the Community Excellence Award close February 28!

For more information about blogger Jody Brown, see our Who We Are page.