PORT ORCHARD — Home Made Cafe owner Suanne Martin Smith could barely contain her excitement over the news that her restaurant has advanced to the finals of Kitsap Bank’s Edg3 Fund Live competition.
“I’m elated, thrilled and so proud of my team,” Smith said before pausing. “I’m getting a little emotional now. It shows that hard work pays off.
The five-year downtown Port Orchard restaurant was one of five Western Washington businesses selected to advance as finalists in the bank’s small-business competition. They were chosen in part by a public vote.
Home Made Cafe and the other finalists will move on to a showdown at the Kitsap Conference Center at Harborside in Bremerton, where the owners will present their pitches before a live audience and an independent panel of judges in pursuit of a grant of $20,000.
Kitsap Bank also will award a $5,000 prize — the Community edg3 Award — to one business from the semifinalist pool that judges believe “best embodies the spirit of community,” based on their submitted application and video.
Shannon Childs of Kitsap Bank said the mission of the edg3 Fund competition is to recognize entrepreneurs “dedicated to growing their community in three ways: economically, socially and environmentally.”