Anyone heard about our social networking challenge with a local, Tallahassee-based business called Raley's Confectionary? No? Yes? Well, we'll give you a quick overview:

Saralyn and I met Wes and Amanda Raley in the Fall Entrepreneurship Excellence Course offered by the Tallahassee Economic Development Council. We all graduated together and began building a fun friendship from there. If you haven't met either one of the Raleys, you really should - their passion for their craft - which happens to be handmade (& fully customized) confectionary candies - is extremely infectious. Oh, and to top it all off, the candy is the

Anyways, Wes and I were talking about our various marketing ideas and how to potentially get people to know about both of our businesses - and Wes totally came up with the Tallahassee Social Networking Smackdown idea. Concept: First business to reach 1000 "likes" on their company's Facebook page would win, and the runner-up would have to make a batch of the winner's product with them. So either Wes & Amanda would have to sweat over a pilot batch, or the GrassLands team would have to sweat in the kitchen making some candy out of congealed 1 million-degree sugar!

In essence, the base motive was to broadcast two small businesses that make hand-crafted products that also happen to be friends with one another. Cool? We thought it was an awesome idea!

Anyways, the results have been tallied and the Tallahassee Social Networking Smackdown is officially over. The victor? You might've guessed it...

GrassLands Brewing Company!

We hit the 1K mark yesterday at 5 pm - with newbie Scott B. crossing the finish line on our behalf. Raley's Confectionary wasn't far behind though - making it a close call at the end with 922 likes on Facebook overall. We both started in the 400/500 range, so between our two companies, we made a huge splash on FB!

With that said, I want to turn our attention to Wes & Amanda's venture. Their website is - so please visit them (as well as in their store - because it's always a treat to see Wes making candy live). I also really, really REALLY want to encourage every one of you, my dear readers, to like their Facebook & Twitter pages. These are two awesome people essentially doing the same thing we're doing, following a dream with passion and enthusiasm! I love seeing their business flourish the way it has.

So now the fun part starts. Wes & Amanda will brew a pilot batch with us in the coming weeks (when they're not totally busy)! The cool thing? We're going to make a Belgian Strong Ale with their candied sugar as an added ingredient. How. Freaking. Cool. Is. That? I've told you all before and I'll say it again - we love this town and it's approach to relationship-building. We love collaboration and it's always awesome to highlight a business friendship through an artistic creation. That's what's in store!

That'll do it for this week. I want to personally say thank you to everyone who took a moment to like our page during this initiative, as well as take an additional moment to share us with friends. I cannot emphasize it enough - we wouldn't be where we are in this journey without you.

With that said, have an absolutely awesome weekend, my dear readers, because you've earned it and you most definitely deserve it!