SBA recognizes Washington businesses

by Staff report
| June 4, 2022 1:00 AM

SEATTLE — Four Washington small business owners have been recognized by the Small Business Administration as part of the agency’s 2022 National Small Business Week program.

The program, celebrated during the first week of May and kicked off by a presidential proclamation every year since 1963, is intended to honor entrepreneurs and the effect they have on smaller communities.

This year’s winners include:

• Bluebird Grain Farms in Winthrop as Rural Small Business of the Year. Founded in 2004 by Brooke and Sam Lucy, Bluebird Grain Farms is a certified organic producer and processor with a specialty in ancient grains, fresh-milled flour and whole-grain blends.

• Richard Brinton, founder and president of BBD International as Small Business Exporter of the Year. BBD International was founded in 1997 to export construction equipment, and over the years, Brinton has developed a broad customer base in six countries for his machinery, spare parts and military equipment.

• Efrem Fesaha, founder and CEO of Boon Boona Coffee in Renton as Washington Small Business Person of the Year. Founded in 2012 as a way of marketing African-grown coffee directly to consumers, Boon Boona new roasts more than 100,000 pounds of coffee every year with 20 employees at two locations.

• Jessica Atkinson, CEO of Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop in Spokane as Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atkinson, 24, started creating customized cakes and sweet treats when she was 14 and now works full-time overseeing 35 employees in two locations.

Winners were honored at a special celebration on May 4 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, according to the SBA.