MBPA Recognizes Middleburg’s Business Community at the Holiday Biz Buzz

It may have been the final Biz Buzz of 2023, but in many ways, it was among the best, as MBPA gathered at the festive Emmanuel Parish House to recognize very special members of the community and celebrate the holiday season.

“I would like to thank everyone who so kindly hosted the monthly Biz Buzz this year,” said Punkin Lee, MBPA President. “We had small places, large places, outside, two stables— I think we covered every possible venue, and each site had a bit of history and was special in every way.”

The MBPA Board was at work behind the scenes for many of Middleburg’s unique events, partnering with the Town of Middleburg, the Middleburg Police Department, and our wonderful MBPA member organizations on a myriad of happenings in 2023, including:

Winter and Summer Sidewalk Sales
Juneteenth Celebration
Independence Day Kids’ Parade
Halloween Parade
Christmas Tree Lighting with the Willisville Community Choir
Dickens of a Christmas in Middleburg
Holiday Carriage Rides
Free Holiday Hot Chocolate
Summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Drives
Duty Officer Contact Cards
Monthly Events Calendar Cards
Social Media Marketing
Redesign and launch of new Visit Middleburg website

The board wholeheartedly thanks the Town of Middleburg for their annual support which enables MBPA to not only do these things but allows MBPA to continually add to important community services and outreach.

“Each month, we all hear from locals and visitors about how much goes on in Middleburg,” Punkin continued. “A town of less than 700 people hosts Christmas in Middleburg, Oktoberfest, Mille Miglia, Spring and Fall Races, museum and gallery exhibits, concerts, horse shows, Saturday coffee and cars, plays, book signings and more!”

People are noticing the action in our teeny, tiny town. Middleburg has received commendable national and local press coverage in 2023, including:

The Christmas Sleigh– Country Living Magazine’s Best Christmas Shop
Town of Middleburg– Nation’s Best Christmas Town
Middleburg Hunt– Feature article in Virginia Living (and on the cover!)
The Hill School– #1 Private School in Loudoun County (five years in a row!)
Lost Barrel Brewing– Best of Loudoun Finalist

Change is imminent, even in Middleburg, and 2023 The Fun Shop Closed, Carol Lee rounded up the Willisville Community Choir for the Tree Lighting, Chief AJ retired, Chief Shaun Jones was sworn in, and the Town revived the Middleburg Farmers’ Market.

“We saw a larger-than-life bronze sculpture of Secretariat,” said Punkin. “We welcomed Federal & Black, CDMX Bar & Grill, Posh Pixies, Bluewater Cocina, The Accidental Peacock, The Woolley Fox, Aiyana Atelier and Middleburg Books.”

“Sadly, in February, we will be saying goodbye to Maria and Pedro with the closing of Middleburg Deli,” she continued. “But we are all looking forward to the opening of The Piedmont Steakhouse, where we can dine surrounded by memories of The Fun Shop.”

MBPA Board Election Results
Punkin Lee, Sam Salmon and Gene LeCouteur were re-elected.

Coming Up in 2024
Click here to join or renew your MBPA Membership for 2024!
The first Biz Buzz of the new year will be on Tuesday, February 13 from 5:30-7:30 pm. Location will be announced via email, so stay tuned!

2023 Middleburg Business & Professional Association Awards

2023 Power of One Award: Mike Elliott
A man dressed in brown enters Middleburg businesses every day of the week or gives a wave from the end of your driveway. For 34 years, the man dressed in brown has delivered for UPS, and we have been fortunate to have him as our very own Mike Elliot, the deliverer of happiness, surprise, expectation and a smile just for you. Thank you, Mike, for all you do for Middleburg!

2023 Town Figure Award: Rhonda North
Rhonda North is a bona-fide hero of documentation, record keeping, accountability, regulations. She dots the i’s and crosses the t’s as Middleburg Town Clerk. From getting live feeds up and running to note taking to keeping track of the numerous committee activities, she almost covertly keeps the Town’s functions flowing in a calm, professional and highly organized manner. Let’s not forget she served as the Project Lead for the new Town Hall, which we hope everyone will go see. When you do visit, be sure to stop in and introduce yourself and thank Rhonda!

2023 Leven Powell Award: The Team at Northwest Federal Credit Union
Northwest Federal Credit Union opened its Middleburg Branch just five years ago, but it feels like they’ve been here forever! NWFCU’s staff quickly jumped into community events, raising their hands for a myriad of volunteer opportunities and outreach. Thank you to Diego, Amanda, Dani, Olivia, Natty and Sam for all they have done and continue to do for Middleburg!

2023 Front Line Employee Award: Mickey Bettis
Living in a small town creates ample opportunity for little things that make you smile. You know the folks at the post office, the banks, the coffee shop, the schools and the Safeway by name. In many instances, you know their families as well, but you might not know much about their background. Mickey Bettis was born and raised in Fauquier County and grew up at Friendship Farm and Hickory Tree Farm near town. After graduating from Fauquier High School, he explored multiple career paths before “going corporate” at the Middleburg Safeway. Mickey has held most positions at the Safeway- working early and late hours, stocking shelves and more. Thirty-eight years later, you’ll find him working the morning shift, smiling away, dedicated to the job at hand. MBPA is grateful to Mickey Bettis and thrilled to honor him as Frontline Employee of the Year.

2023 Behind the Scenes Award: Perry “Buck” Robinson
A lot of work and planning goes into the special town events such as Art in the Burg, Christmas in Middleburg, Mille Miglia, Dickens of a Christmas and more. Thousands of people flow into and out of town for the different events, but one thing remains the same, no matter what: clean up. Perry “Buck” Robinson leads the cleanup endeavor, one of the most important, yet often unnoticed efforts in Middleburg. A Middleburg native who lives just down the road in Upperville, Buck is a true renaissance man. He is not only the proprietor of Robinson’s Refuse, but also an amazing, crazy drummer who can be seen playing with Andre and Bryan Fox, as well as an intense motocross enthusiast! He’s grown his business from one small pickup to a fleet of trucks that operate between Middleburg, Upperville, The Plains and Marshall.
Bravo to Buck and his enterprising nature— helping to keep our community fresh and pristine.

2023 Event of the Year Award: Middleburg Hunt Revue at Christmas in Middleburg
Foxhunting enthusiasts flocked to Middleburg in 1905 for the contest between Henry Higginson and Harry Worcester Smith’s opposing packs of hounds, and after that, people came back in droves to hunt. The Middleburg Hunt came to be shortly thereafter in 1906, and every year on the first Saturday in December, the hounds, horses, people and open countryside of the Middleburg Hunt are center stage on Christmas in Middleburg day. The hunt parade is a must-see event and brings throngs of people to town for this signature event known around the globe. There is much preparation for this incredibly special day and MBPA is pleased to honor and thank Middleburg Hunt Masters Penny Denegre, Jeff Blue and Tim Harmon, as well as Huntsman Richard Roberts for driving the force behind the Event of the Year.

2023 Dorothy Lee Award: Dee Dee Hubbard (accepted by her son Jay Hubbard)
How can one accurately describe Dee Dee Hubbard? A mother, grandmother, businesswoman, leader, volunteer extraordinaire, organizer and the all-around top cheerleader for Middleburg, Dee Dee made her mark on the community for over a quarter of a century. She breathed new life into the then-faltering MBPA, headed the Christmas Parade, served as a member and then as chair of the Economic Development Committee, and in partnership with her son Jay, found time to write, edit, sell ads, and distribute the Middleburg Eccentric for 17 years.
Dee Dee was supremely generous in giving her time and energy to Middleburg. We felt a loss after the Eccentric ceased operations last year but felt an even greater loss after her passing this past fall. We miss Eccentric, but we really miss Dee Dee, an irreplaceable part of our community.

Holiday Storefront Décor Winners!
Best Traditional Dickens-Themed Décor Award- The Red Fox Inn & Tavern
Best Whimsical Décor Award- The PLAYroom
Best Overall Décor Award- Middleburg Common Grounds

Door Prize Winners!
Middleburg Apothecary Gift Bag- Will Nisbet, The Hill School
Certified Humane Gift Bag- Robin Klombers, Posh Pixies
Certified Humane Gift Bag- Olivia Atterholt, Northwest Federal Credit Union

We will see you all in February at the next Biz Buzz!