The reviews are in

Image caption: University winner Jill Rosen and Trish Sainsott of Johns Hopkins’ Small Business Development Program

More than 100 Johns Hopkins University and Health System employees contributed reviews to the institutions' online vendor guide in October to help their colleagues identify local and diverse sources for the goods and services they need.

With the Johns Hopkins Purchasing Office offering a chance to win a basket of goodies, people entered 180 reviews of local businesses, highlighting their preferred places to get food, flowers, printing, courier services, transportation services, stationery, and more. With those reviews in place, and additional ones always welcome, the guide is intended to make it easier for staff and faculty to support the HopkinsLocal initiative's goals to bolster the Baltimore economy and create opportunity for city residents.

The winners were randomly chosen from all the submissions. Jill Rosen, of the university's Office of Communications, and Margaret Budacz, of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Bayview Medical Center, each received a collection of local treats. The prize included French pastries from Patisserie Poupon (which Rosen had reviewed), candies from Charm City Chocolate, a peanut assortment from the Peanut Shoppe, cupcakes from Midnite Confectionary, and even a few treats from Howl for the winners' best four-legged friends. Budacz's winning entry was a review of Vinny's Café.

"It is exciting to see our colleagues build the vendor guide into an effective tool for choosing local and diverse businesses," says Crystal Burns, small business and supplier diversity lead for the Johns Hopkins Purchasing Office. "All of these individual purchasing decisions add up to significant support for the city."

Burns says that staff and faculty are encouraged to continue to share their recommendations using the Write a Review link next to each vendor in the guide, and individuals can suggest new vendors by emailing suggestions to

The Johns Hopkins community will have another opportunity to get to know local vendors at the HopkinsLocal Winter Holiday Fair taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8, in Turner Auditorium on the East Baltimore campus. Attendees can learn more about businesses while enjoying door prizes, food samples, raffles, and giveaways. To attend, register here.

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