ALEXANDRIA, VA – A small group of Alexandria business owners gathered on Mount Vernon Avenue this morning clad in heavy winter gear combatting the 28 degree temperature to show their love to a special shop, presenting the 2021 giant ‘Heart of Del Ray’ award to Dolce and Bean confectionary.
“The things that people said about you is exactly why the award was created,” Gayle Reuter, DRBA board member, told the crowd when presenting the award. “Over and over, people said how welcoming you are, how you know everyone’s name, especially the kids, and that is what makes community.”
The Del Ray Business Association (DRBA) has annually been presenting the large heart since 2009. Chosen by a count of votes, the award is presented to a business that residents and other business owners think embodies the spirit, love and generosity of the community. There were six notable nominees in this year’s pool, which also included Stomping Ground, Del Ray Psych & Wellness, Rock of Ages Music, Rosemont Landscaping and Lawn Care, and St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub.
Past winners who were present included Greener Cleaner, Del Ray Cafe, A Show of Hands, Jen Walker McEnearney Associates, Bobi Bomar Homes of Alexandria, The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray, Del Ray Pizzeria, Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga, Caboose Cafe, Pork Barrel BBQ/Holy Cow/the sushi bar, Taqueria Poblano, and the 2020 winner Preeti Patel, owner of the 7-Eleven.
“Thank you so much, and for welcoming me into this community,” said Dolce and Bean owner, Petros Grebre-Egziabher. “I am so humbled by this presentation and this award.”
Reuter interjected with a final note saying, “One voter commented that the three-foot heart award is as big as Petros’ heart.”
Dolce and Bean specializes in premium Belgian and American chocolates, French macarons and pastries and Italian gelato to name a few. The sweets store has been a staple in the heart of Del Ray at 2003A Mount Vernon Avenue since 2016.