Oct 17

Crydermans Barbecue

Posted on October 17, 2019 at 10:32 AM by Samia Singleton



Chad & Amy Cryderman

In 2016, husband and wife team Amy and Chad Cryderman opened Historic Cocoa Village’s first barbecue restaurant. Located on the main thoroughfare of Florida Ave., award-winning Crydermans Barbecue receives acclaim for its Central Texas inspired barbecue, from the cuts of meat to sauces made with brisket trimmings. Locals and visitors alike cannot resist the intoxicating aromas of smoked brisket, turkey and pork wafting from the restaurant on a daily basis. While Crydermans Barbecue was an instant dining sensation, this is not an overnight success story.

The story began in 2008, when Mr. Cryderman moved to Florida from Michigan and tried barbecue for the first time. “I never had barbecue before then,” said Mr. Cryderman. The Crydermans starting smoking briskets in their driveway. “A next door neighbor let me borrow the smoker and I fell in love with the idea,” he said.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. and Mrs. Cryderman were inspired to open a restaurant after a successful Christmas party. “I cooked for about 40 people and everyone left very happy,” said Mr. Cryderman. Both husband and wife had restaurant experience with Mr. Cryderman managing a restaurant at the time. The Crydermans wanted to locate the restaurant in a vintage gas station and Mrs. Cryderman, a Cocoa-native, fell in love with the 1930s gas station building on Florida Ave. After nearly 10 years of research and planning, the couple brought their dream from their driveway to fruition.

Crydermans won the 2019 News 6 Best of Barbecue Award, beating 50 other barbecue restaurants throughout Central Florida – a well-deserved feat for a restaurant serving premium, all natural, no growth hormones and no antibiotics sustainably sourced meats, which are then smoked for 24-hours.

The menu at Crydermans includes brisket, smoked turkey, pork spare ribs, pulled pork, and all the accompaniments you would expect to see on a barbecue joint menu. However, Crydermans use of Duroc pork sets it apart from its counterparts. Crydermans number one seller is brisket. “We sell more brisket than all the other meats put together,” said Mr. Cryderman. The Crydermans recommend visitors try every item on the meat-market style menu, where items are priced by the pound.

Making the most of its success, Crydermans recently expanded, opening a second location in Melbourne, FL. and plans to expand to third location in the near future. For more information about Crydermans or to sign up for exclusive deals and promotions, visit Crydermansbarbecue.com.


Jul 08

VA Paving, Inc.

Posted on July 8, 2019 at 1:06 PM by Samia Singleton

VA Paving, Inc. Debra Mallard, Al Mallard and Terri Hart




















Founded in 1982, VA Paving, Inc. is a family-owned, women-owned business led by sisters Debra Mallard and Terri Hart, and brother Al Mallard, located at 800 Cidco Rd. in Cocoa, FL.

“We are second generation, but we have been involved in the company from the very beginning,” says Debra. “Our parents started the company. We have been a women-owned business since 1982, because Mom owned a majority of the stock.”

Wanting to capitalize on his background in construction, their father convinced their mother to start a construction company. This company evolved into the VA Paving, Inc. we know today with more than 60 employees.

VA Paving, Inc. started out undertaking site work as subcontractor for projects, such as the Kennedy Space Center. In the beginning, the company would purchase asphalt to use in projects. In 1990, the company went from sourcing asphalt to making it when the company purchased its own asphalt plant. VA Paving, Inc. experienced exponential growth – the company went from building roads and parking lots to runways.

Owners went without for many years to grow the company. There were many times they were not sure they were going to make it. During 2007 recession when many contractors were out of work, VA Paving, Inc. relied on its government contracts to stay afloat.

The siblings credit prayer for success. “The money made doing site work supported development of asphalt plant,” says Al. “Now the asphalt plant is so successful, it supports the site work.”

All three siblings agree that one of the company’s most challenging and largest projects was building Space Commerce Way, a multi-phase road in Merritt Island that provides an alternate hurricane evacuation route.

Recently the company built an access road on the backside of Space Commerce Way to Kennedy Space Center. “The key to the project was they wanted us to get started in June and be 100 percent complete by December so they could be open for the Christmas tourist season,” says Al. “We made it on time and within budget through the rain and hurricanes, through whatever happened.”

VA Paving, Inc. intends to remain a family business for generations to come by grooming the next generation of family to take over the company and continue the legacy. “The opportunity was always there for our children to learn about the business if they wanted to,“ says Terri. “Some of them have gone to do other things, but migrated back to be a part of something that their grandmother and grandfather started.”

VA Paving Inc. was awarded the NASA “Small Woman-Owned Business of the Year” and has won the award four times over the span of 35 years. Last year the company grossed over $20 million in sales in 2018.

For more information about VA Paving, Inc. visit vapaving.com/.



Apr 10

Five Points Pharmacy & Wellness

Posted on April 10, 2019 at 8:46 AM by Samia Singleton

Owner James Knight standing in front of Five Points Pharmacy and Wellness

Since 1958, Five Points Pharmacy has been serving the Cocoa community and beyond, located at 1108 Lake Drive, Cocoa, FL. Purchased in 2012 by brothers James Wright and Clint Wright, the pharmacy is a perfect example of a community-focused business. 

James, a Pharmacy School graduate, was seeking a challenge from the typical pharmacist job, when he learned Five Points Pharmacy was closed and for sale. He and his brother sprang into action, purchasing the business, updating the interior, modernizing equipment and software, and improving processes. Within seven months from its purchase, the brothers re-opened the longstanding Cocoa business. 
 
As one of the few independently owned pharmacies in Cocoa, Five Points Pharmacy holds its own against the major national providers. Proven by the pharmacy’s very high patient retention rate.  James attributes this to offering a consistent, personalized experience to the nearly one thousand patients they serve. From offering free deliveries to mailing prescriptions, this independent pharmacy believes in a personal approach. “I’ve even made house calls to deliver a patient’s prescription,” says James.

“Ninety percent of our patients are in Cocoa, which is why we believe our patients deserve choice, access and affordability,” says James. Five Points Pharmacy partners with local community organizations that assist Cocoa citizens with purchasing medication. 

Not unlike most pharmacies, Five Points Pharmacy does experience the challenges of navigating the regulatory environment and coping with the opioid epidemic. “When we opened in 2012, the opioid epidemic was beginning,” says James. “It’s very stressful determining how opioids should be distributed and I’ve had to turn patients away.” 

Five Points Pharmacy offers non-sterile compounding and plans to eventually offer sterile compounding. Additional plans include hiring more employees and purchasing the building where it is located. The pharmacy currently has seven employees.

For more information on Five Points Pharmacy, visit www.fivepointsrx.com.