DANVILLE — A pair of businesses in downtown Danville were recognized by the Montour Columbia Chamber of Commerce with two of the chamber’s top awards.

Bason Coffee Roasting and PB&J Bar earned the chamber’s Small Business of the Year and Community Progress Award, respectively.

The Small Business of the Year Award is presented to a Chamber member that has 30 employees or fewer and has done one or more of the following: demonstrated business or community leadership evidenced by diversification and creativity in the development of new products, services and/or markets; demonstrated staying power and positive response to adversity; or demonstrated community involvement.

Bason Coffee Roasting (at 50 East Mahoning St.) achieves high marks in all of those categories.

“We’re very thankful for the award,” said owner Brad Bason, on Tuesday. “But the award really goes to our amazing employees and customers. Without the support of the community, Danville and beyond, getting this award would not have been possible. I look at this as a community award for all of us, not just Bason Coffee.”

The genesis of the business began in 2006 as the Basons began roasting small batches of coffee for their personal use.

During a meeting with their friend and pastor, he noted how much different fresh roasted coffee tasted. The obsession grew as more friends also enjoyed the Basons’ quickly expanding hobby.

In 2011, Bason Coffee Roasting was formed after they realized that a commercial roaster was needed to keep up with the demand. Their third bay garage was quickly turned into their roastery, production and warehousing area

As they embark on their 10th year in business, as of June 1, 2021, they look back on great successes.

They are a staple at the Bloomsburg Fair, have found success in wholesale, retail, private label and had a positive impact on local schools, sports teams and nonprofits with their fundraisers.

Then, the pandemic hit, and the company’s commitment to the communities they serve only grew stronger.

The Bason family has a giving spirit. From Christmas morning coffee delivery to delivering to front-line heath care workers annually, to supporting special events and foreign missions, they are always eager to support the community.

No first responder on duty pays for a cup of coffee at Bason. When the pandemic hit, they were quick to respond with a coffee delivery to the hospital for front-line workers, they developed a special blend with a label “I am a Warrior on the Frontline” with a portion of each bag’s proceeds supporting the local food bank.

As a business enterprise, there were also challenges.

“This past year was very interesting,” Bason said. “No doubt. But we had very supportive customers. We had to make changes in allowing people into our store. We did more online ordering and curbside pickup. Thankfully we had an online system that was ready to go. When the pandemic hit, people started gravitating to our online website.”

There was almost no disruption in the supply chain, he said. “The ports were open. Our supply was able to get through.”

Bason’s top seller is Ironmen Blend, a blend of South American and Indonesian coffees.

Bason Coffee is at 554 Mill St. in Danville. The retail store is open to the public, Monday through Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 8:30 a.m to 1 p.m.; Thursday through Friday, 8 a.m to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 8:30 a.m to 3 p.m.

Community Progress Award

The Columbia-Montour Chamber also cited PB&J Bar as winner of its Community Progress Award.

For this award, the chamber said, a business needs to have shown improvement in the internal or external appearance of a commercial property through either new construction, renovation, restoration or remodeling, and completed that construction within the last three calendar years or by December 2020.

PB&J Bar, which is short for The Plant-Based and Juice Bar, is located at 554 Mill St. in the former Pappas Restaurant location. The iconic green building was in need of repair and was deteriorating on the outside from sitting vacant for a number of years. Owners Christian Force and Shannon Koch did much of the work themselves.

PB&J offers breakfast, lunch and food to go, providing healthier plant-based options and fresh juices and smoothies.

Its hours are: Monday through Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as well as Sunday, 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. They are closed on Wednesday.

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