Bluefield, W.Va. (WVDN) – Deiandra Blair of Blair’s Sweet Treats and More in Bluewell was presented the 2022 West Virginia Hive Social Enterprise of the Year award at a recent ceremony in Beckley.
Judy Moore, executive director of the WV Hive and deputy director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, said “staying power and social impact” are key criteria for this award category. “Most start-ups face adversity in the early years, and Blair’s Sweet Treats has been no exception,” said Moore. “The entrepreneurial spirit is best represented in how you handle yourself during those times that make you stand out from the rest. Deiandra has set her mind not to quit during adversity, and our WV Hive staff and judges wanted to reward that positive attitude.
Moore said that in some of the most difficult times Deiandra has found ways to give back to others in the community. She singled out Blair’s August back-to-school bash where more than 100 families attended, and children of all ages received backpacks and school supplies. This month, Blair’s Sweet Treats & More will host “Tis the Season: Celebrating a Time of Giving,” offering participants free food along with toys and care packages, given out by partnering organizations.
Blair launched Blair’s Sweet Treats and More in her home kitchen in January 2021 while dealing with the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. She started recreating her grandmother’s made- from-scratch sweet treats recipes, and her poundcakes quickly became a customer favorite. As word spread, orders started pouring in for poundcakes and other sweet treats.
When Blair realized she had the support of her family, friends, and others in the community, she decided to formally establish Blair’s Sweet Treats & More, to share with others the recipes she had held close to her heart for so many years.
Blair utilized social media to establish a loyal customer base, and business continued to grow. She knew she needed a larger space, and with assistance of the WV Hive, Blair was able to get $30,000 in funding from the West Virginia Planning and Development Council. Blair’s Sweet Treats and More opened the doors of its brick-and-mortar location in Bluewell in April 2022. With this expansion, Blair’s added new menu items that include a variety of salads, sandwiches, and signature hotdogs.
The WV Hive is the entrepreneurship program of the NRGRDA and the administrator of the Country Roads Angel Network. Its 13-county service area includes Raleigh, Fayette, Summers, Nicholas, Webster, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Monroe, Mercer, McDowell, Wyoming, Logan, and Mingo counties. More information about the WV Hive can be found at https://wvhive.com/.