The Del Ray Business Association presented Del Ray Cafe with its 2017 "Heart of Del Award," The annual award, given to the business that represents the heart and soul of Del Ray, is determined by a public vote of neighbors and customers. "Margaret and I are truly surprised and humbled by winning the Heart of Del Ray award. We were just honored to be included with the amazing group of other nominees Cheesetique, Pork Barrel BBQ/Holy Cow, ROAM and Taqueria Poblano," said Del Ray Cafe owner Laurent Janowsky. "Our guiding philosophy since the day we conceived Del Ray Cafe is to welcome everyone as if they are family visiting our home. Our fantastic staff are an integral part of conveying this feeling to each and every customer; we have to thank Nadir, Abdel, George, Cesar and the rest of our staff."
Patrons cited this welcoming atmosphere in their nominations. "Every time we go there, the waiters welcome us like we are old friends," read one nomination. "Friends from D.C. joined us there for dinner and said that they have never received that warm a welcome anywhere!" Many of the nominations also cited Del Ray Cafe's commitment to giving back to the community, particularly through their donations Alexandria schools and nonprofits.
"As we approach our 5th anniversary in May, looking back, we couldn't have guessed what a fantastic community we were joining!" said Del Ray Cafe owner Margaret Janowsky. "The DRBA is so intricately woven into the fabric of the community. We feel so lucky to have the support of both the residents and the businesses of Del Ray."
Over 1,000 neighbors, friends and customers participated in online voting. Past winners of the award include A Show of Hands, Jen Walker McEnearney Associates, Bobi Bomar Homes of Alexandria, The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray, Greener Cleaner of Del Ray, Del Ray Pizzeria, Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga, and Caboose Cafe.