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Startup Monday: The Arlington Couple Behind The “Candygrams” Board Game

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Arlington couple Anaïs Ortiz and Johnny Landers had played just about every board game together. When thinking about what to play next, a thought occurred — what if they made their own?

After two years of trial and error (and a move to Los Angeles), Candygrams was born. The award-winning strategy board game starts with a set of 25 letter tiles. Players then roll color-coded die that determines which of their tiles they can use to build a crossword, and the first player to use all of their tiles wins.

“Johnny and I know Arlington like the back of our hand — we went through the public school system, and actually met at H-B Woodlawn,” said Ortiz. “When we decided to launch Candygrams, we knew we had the support of the Arlington community would have our backs.”

Since the game launched in 2018, it’s won six national gaming awards. The game can be bought online and is also stocked in three area stores: Sun & Moon Yoga (3811 Lee Hwy), Trade Roots (5852 Washington Blvd), and Kinder Haus Toys (1220 N. Filmore Street). 

“Needless to say, we’re excited about the holiday season,” said Ortiz. “There’s been a huge uptick in the [board game] industry, and Candygrams is no exception.”

The couple is already in the planning process for another game, this time card-based and focused on the “winds and sands of an iconic national park.”

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St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.

Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.

We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.

For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.

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If you are a lifelong learner over 50+ who wants to make new friends, power up your brain, and enjoy a wide-variety college-level courses, Encore Learning is for you. An Arlington based nonprofit, Encore Learning offers courses in the arts, theater, literature, history, technology and more. This semester we offer our most popular course, Global Hot Spots as well as 25 new courses. Courses are presented either online or in-person at George Mason University at Virginia Square and other Arlington locations.

Join the free presentation to learn about courses and meet the instructors. This is Encore Learning’s signature event to highlight the upcoming semester with brief presentations by each instructor.

The Spring Course Preview event is Thursday, February 2nd at 9:30 AM via Zoom: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84855394419

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