Fish Hawk Acres wins SBA Rural Small Business of the Year Award for 2018

Chef Dale Hawkins says the key to small business success is to diversify revenue streams

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Fish Hawk Acres co-owners Teresa Lipps and Dale Hawkins recently earned accolades as the Rural Small Business of the Year.

BUCKHANNON – Buckhannon’s own Fish Hawk Acres was the recipient of the Rural Small Business of the Year Award for 2018.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District presented the award at a ceremony in Fairmont May 8.

Co-owner of Fish Hawk Acres Dales Hawkins said the business’s Small Business Development Center coach Susie Higgins, who works in the Upshur County Development Authority office, nominated them for the award.

“Susie asked if she could nominate us and we were like, ‘sure.’ We didn’t think anything would come from it,” Hawkins said. “We’re a tiny business on Main Street in Buckhannon, but I think we’re not as tiny as people think we are. For a small business, we have a lot of reach — we’re in Pittsburgh, every weekend doing multiple events, we’re all over the state doing events.”

“Even though we’re housed here, we have arms everywhere,” Hawkins added, “so it is small, but kind of a neat feeling to be recognized.”

Hawkins and Teresa Lipps are co-owners of Fish Hawk Acres, which offers regional catering services and hosts special dinners in addition to offering farm-to-table food and fresh produce from its Main Street location.

He said he thinks Fish Hawk Acres stood out by not being like any other business.

“I think part of it is just a very unique business,” Hawkins said. “We’re not necessarily a restaurant, we’re not necessarily a market, we’re not necessarily catering. We’ve recognized that in order to be successful, you have to have different revenue streams and you can’t just focus on one thing.

“There’s so much competition out there in the business world that you have to do something and set yourself apart from someone else. I think that was key for us, and we have a great staff. I feel like we’ve been blessed there.”

Some of the upcoming events happening at Fish Hawk Acres include their Spring into Summer Farm Dinner June 12, The “Hill William” Farm Dinner July 10, A Taste of Italy August 14 and Fiesta @ the Farm Sept. 11.

“What can I say?” Hawkins said. “It was an honor, and we really appreciate it and it’s nice to be recognized among your peers.”