Café participates in window contest

Published 10:29 pm Thursday, December 9, 2010

Window contest: Healing Time Café on Bridge Road is participating in a holiday window contest through the weekend. Customers can vote online or in the store. Proceeds from in-store voting, which consists of placing money in a can, goes to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

The elves are busy in Santa’s workshop at Healing Time Café in North Suffolk.

The coffee shop is the only Suffolk business participating in Retail Alliance’s annual Holiday Window Works window decorating contest. The event is designed to drive traffic to businesses while raising money for the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

“It’s an opportunity to do something for [the hospital],” said Toney Saunders, owner of Healing Time Café. “This is the season for giving.”

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About 80 businesses throughout Hampton Roads and the Smith Mountain Lake area are participating in the competition. Three awards will be given — the Retail Alliance Holiday Window Works Award, the People’s Choice Award and the Online People’s Choice Award.

Customers of the businesses “vote” by putting money in collection cans at the businesses. The one that raises the most money wins the People’s Choice Award. All the money from all the cans goes to CHKD.

People also can cast votes for the online award by visiting the Retail Alliance website,

Saunders said he participated in the contest not only to raise money for the hospital, but also to raise awareness of his business.

“We’ve only been open for eight months,” Saunders said. “I’ve been trying to think of ways to draw more traffic into our shop.”

Employees at the café used window paint and photos to portray Santa’s workshop, the theme of the contest. Elves on the windows are making toys, checking lists and preparing Santa’s bag for his big journey.

“It’s an opportunity for people to know where we’re at,” Saunders said. “There’s a lot of folks in the area that don’t know we’re there yet. I thought it would be a great opportunity to do something good and get the neighborhood to know we’re here.”

The café is located at 3235 Bridge Road. Online voting is open through Sunday night. For more information on the contest, visit