Süp takes $12,000 top prize at Level Up | nnbw.com

Süp takes $12,000 top prize at Level Up

Special to NNBW

Tanya McCaffery, CEO of the CFO Group and VAST and founder of Level Up, The Growth Competition (Level Up), proudly announced that Süp restaurant took home first prize at Friday night’s inaugural event.

The event brought together five local businesses to compete for the grand prize worth $12,000. HideIt Mounts took home second place, SoSu TV came in third, Black Hole Body Piercing fourth and Relax & Wax – featuring “No Scream Cream” won the People’s Choice.

The event awarded winners a combined $30,000 worth of prizes including cash and services.

“We are so honored to have been selected,” said Süp owners Kasey and Christian Christensen in a press release. “We love what we do and are excited to hone our craft. We’re incredibly grateful to Tanya and the team behind Level Up for helping us to take our business to the next level.”

In creating this event, McCaffery wanted to focus on celebrating Reno and the amazing entrepreneurial spirit in the northern Nevada community.

She brought together three other local entrepreneurs to serve as panelists who judged the entries, selected the five finalists and ultimately the winner. Additionally, these business and thought leaders served as speakers at the event.

“The goal of Level Up was to empower these tremendous small businesses to grow by providing the tools and guidance they need to take the next step,” McCaffery said in a press release.

“The finalists all brought something unique and wonderful to this competition and selecting a winner was no easy task. We were truly impressed by the level of passion and dedication these small businesses showed us throughout this process.”

She added, “From giving up six figure salaries to selling homes in order to realize their dreams, these amazing individuals truly embody the entrepreneurial spirit and I look forward to following their journeys moving forward.”

The event featured renowned keynote speaker, Mary Morrissey, an international, inspirational speaker, executive coach and corporate consultant.

Local entrepreneur Mark Estee served as emcee. Panelists for the event were: McCaffery, Nate Pearson – Trainer Road, Ashley Jennings – Parlor Shows and Dr. Todd Sala – Sala Family Dentistry.



Sup Restaurant was established in August of 2007 by husband and wife duo, Christian and Kasey Christiansen. Süp is a little restaurant that servers soup, salad and sandwiches with big heart, nestled in Reno’s MidTown District. At 28 years old, the couple started with what they knew best: food and people, and so Süp was born.

Nine years later they have an occult following despite the challenges of opening a business during the economic recession. Süp has even grown into a new, larger location just one block away- yet you will still find a line of eager customers out the door every day they are open.

Black Hole

Dedicated to strictly piercing, Black Hole is a female-owned studio that has been putting holes in Reno since 1994, making it one of the oldest in the nation. Proprietor, Angela Watson, purchased the business from an ex- boyfriend over two-decades ago and has been offering quality piercings and beautiful, ornate jewelry ever since. The studio has been voted the ‘Best Place to Get Pierced’ for 21 years and is unquestionably the best piercing studio in Northern Nevada. Angela is also active in the MidTown District and works day-in, day-out to improve our community.

HIDEit Mounts

HIDEiT Mounts all started, because Chuck and Relina Shirley purchased a Nintendo Wii in 2008. After months of sitting on the fireplace mantle, the couple began searching for a way to hide the Wii behind their television and associated cords cluttering their space. Seeing as there was no ready-made solution Chuck Shirley fabricated one himself and a year later used it as a prototype to have the first HIDEiT Mount manufactured. They now make vertical wall mounts for just about any electronic component you can think of and have relocated to Reno, Nevada from the greater Los Angeles Area.


SoSu TV is a broadcast media company founded by Mark and Dana Hatjakes to help small businesses by giving them awesome creative. A true testament to their entrepreneurial spirits, Mark and Dana quit their six figure jobs to pursue the dream of inspired storytelling. SoSu TV’s mission is to help other people ‘start over and start up’ (hence, the acronym). Not only do they help small businesses, but they are proud to create jobs for creatives in Northern Nevada. SoSu TV has big plans for the creative industry in Reno and work ceaselessly to provide quality storytelling with the hopes of encouraging the masses to fulfill their passions.

Relax N Wax

Deborah Merhar, became an Esthetician in 2000. 6 months into her new career she discovered there were no professional products on the market that eased the discomfort of waxing. So Merhar started roaming the aisles of pharmacies and drug stores, it if said numbing on it, she bought it. Fortunately for her future company, none of these numbing products did the job. After continued research and development, Deborah discovered benzocaine, a numbing agent traditionally used in dentistry- and so, No Scream Cream was born. Since their creation, the No Scream Cream product line has been featured on Good Morning America, in Tyra Banks Beauty Bag and even Rachel Ray.


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