Louisa County Chamber of Commerce name John Pope, Cooling Pond Brewery as 2021 Businessperson of the Year
Louisa, Va. — The Louisa County Chamber of Commerce (LCCC) held their annual meeting & 36th Annual Businessperson of the Year celebration on June 24, 2021 at Callie Opie’s Orchard with record attendance from the membership and community. John Pope, Cooling Pond Brewery, was named 2021 Businessperson of the Year for his exceptional performance and leadership within our business community.
John Pope has served his country and now he’s serving the locals and travelers highlighting the historical and popular icons of Lake Anna and Louisa County. In 2019, Cooling Pond Brewery was conceived as a community-centric venue providing a family-friendly environment. The focus – contributing back to the community and becoming a key venue for locals to meet.
Cooling Pond Brewery kicked off their second season in early March 2020 - doused by the chilling reality that their normal avenue of “make it in the back and sell it in the front” was not compatible with the new normal. No longer able to welcome guests into the tasting room - they expanded to-go sales with growlers and added a canner. Outdoor seating, extended lawn areas and wide-open spaces allowed patrons to meet their level of social comfort. One of the most widely enjoyed additions was the repurposed container stage hosting music weekly. Increased capacity to produce beer through the procurement and deployment of their 5 barrel brewhouse and cellar allowed for contract brewing which equaled 50% of production by year-end. While suffering an 80% downturn in the second quarter, a strong third and fourth quarter led to net growth of 18%.
John rarely says no when it comes to the community. John serves on the board of directors for the Lake Anna Business Partnership involved in committees for the by-law review, budget oversight, and special committee for the largest fundraiser of the year - Laketoberfest.
He was instrumental in fundraising efforts for the new bridge fire/EMS by hosting events, private brewing experiences and a dedicated beer whose entire revenue was donated to the cause. Through direct and indirect contributions, John’s efforts at the brewery resulted in 25% of the original EMS $100k goal.
The evening included additional recognition for the retiring board members, introductions of the new Board of Directors, and presentations to Carrie Hicks, Volunteer of the Year; Blue Ridge Health District, Good Neighbor of the Year and CLASSIC HITS 105.5 & 95.5 SAM-FM HITS, Chamber Partner of the Year.