LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A number of Little Rock and North Little Rock-based businesses are among the top 16 Arkansas-based brands vying to be named superstar of Arkansas business through the Battle of the Brands tournament, hosted by The Arkansas Capital Corporation Group. They include Arkansas Children's Hospital, Guillermo's Gourmet Grounds, Larry's Pizza, Purple Cow, U.S. Pizza Company and Whole Hog Café of Little Rock, as well as Argenta Bead Company of North Little Rock.
On Monday, Arkansas Capital announced the top 16 iconic business brands and entrepreneurial upstarts from across the state that will be vying for their place in the top 8 and eventually in the championship round. All Arkansans and fans of these brands are encouraged to support their favorite brands by voting at arksourcelink.com/brands.
Arkansas Capital introduced Battle of the Brands as a launch pad for arksourcelink.com, which is a website dedicated to providing resources to entrepreneurs, starts ups and businesses across the state.
Arkansas Children's Hospital is the only pediatric medical center in Arkansas and one of the largest in the United States serving children from birth to age 21. Over the past century, ACH has grown to span 29 city blocks and house 370 beds, a staff of approximately 500 physicians, 80 residents in pediatrics and pediatric specialties and more than 4,000 employees. The private, nonprofit healthcare facility boasts an internationally renowned reputation for medical breakthroughs and intensive treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward-thinking medical research - all dedicated to fulfilling our mission of enhancing, sustaining and restoring children's health and development.
The people at Guillermo's Gourmet Grounds (G3) are coffee lovers. They are passionate about fresh roasted coffee. They still skillfully roast their coffees today just as master roasters have for more than 100 years. They will always roast by hand, with an open flame, and in small batches. They search for the finest coffee in the world and custom craft roast each to their own perfection. This is a skill that takes patience, and a passion for the perfect cup, an art that has been forgotten by most.
Larry's Pizza is owned, operated and franchised by Larry White. It started in January of 1992 with one location in Little Rock and a simple idea: Serve good food, provide good, friendly service, and do it all at a fair price. In November 2001, Larry's Pizza opened its second location in Bryant. Locations now include Downtown, Cantrell and Bowman Road in Little Rock; North Little Rock; Cabot; Conway; White Hall; Sheridan; Searcy; Stuttgart; Landmark Community; Malvern; El Dorado; Batesville; Russellville; and Jonesboro.
Classic diner favorites get a sophisticated twist in The Purple Cow's fun, family-friendly restaurant. The Purple Cow is known for gourmet burgers, hand-dipped shakes, diner specialties and a fun 50s vibe. Started in 1989 by businessmen Ed Moore and Chef Paul Bash, The Purple Cow's first restaurant started with the retro-style Cantrell Road location. The original location was such a hit that a second location was added in west Little Rock. In 2007, the founders retired, transitioning the beloved Cow to businessman Philip Tappan and chef Todd Gold, who opened a new Hot Springs location in 2010. Pile into a purple booth or have a seat at the retro soda fountain for a brunch, lunch, dinner or snack you'll love.
In 1972, owner Judy Waller opened her first U.S. Pizza Company in a burned-out clock shop in Levy, Ark. Armed with a unique recipe for thin-crust pizza and an old-fashioned stone hearth oven, U.S. Pizza embarked on a quarter-of-a-century journey. That first store grossed only about $1,000 per week, but 10 other U.S. Pizza Company locations have opened since. Since the first store opened in 1972, U.S. Pizza Company has been making its thin-crust pizza from scratch upon order. And they still use stone hearth ovens. That's one of the reasons their unique pizzas are worth the wait. They pride themselves in offering the very best pizza, salads and sandwiches, and they value their customers' patronage.
The Whole Hog Café & Catering Company prepares the same award-winning recipes that won top honors in the 2000, 2002, and 2008 Memphis-in-May World Barbecue Championships - including 1st place in the Whole Hog category in 2002. Competing as The Southern Gentlemen's Culinary Society and opening Whole Hog Café in 2000,Whole Hog founders Ron Blasingame, Mike "Sarge" Davis and Steve Lucchi long devoted themselves to the pursuit of barbecue perfection. Their devotion is reflected in the wildly popular dishes served in the Whole Hog Café each day - succulent pulled pork, tender beef brisket and smoked chicken, and of course, Whole Hog's award-winning ribs.
Argenta Bead Company offers a fabulous, fashionable selection of beads for just about every taste and any budget. They have beads - lots of beads, as well as findings and other craft ingredients for a wide variety of projects. They are there to help customers find their perfect combination. The shop is a treasure box full of inspiration, ideas and knowledgeable staff ready to assist.
The top 16 companies, which were winners from the top 64 bracket, have strong entrepreneurial roots and supportive fans who voted them to round three. For each round, voters are encouraged to visit arksourcelink.com/brands during specific time windows to vote for their favorite companies and move them into the next round. The winner will be announced April 15.
Upcoming Voting Schedule:
• Round 3/Top 16: March 18-24
• Round 4/Top 8: March 25-31
• Round 5/Top 4: April 1-7
• Final Round/Top 2: April 8-14