YARMOUTH, N.S. – Small businesses were the big winners at the 2018 Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.
The winners were announced Thursday, Nov. 1, at a sold-out banquet at the Yarmouth Rodd Grand Hotel attended by nearly 300 people.
“We received more than 190 individual nominations this year for a widely diversified range of business categories — everything from hospitality to manufacturing,” says Loretta Davis, chairwoman of the business awards committee, “so our judges had a very difficult choice to make.”
In the end, the judging panel not only chose a winner but also runners-up in the 10 categories who received honourable mentions.
“All the businesses nominated were very worthy,” Davis says. “It’s wonderful to see that so many entrepreneurs have chosen southwest Nova Scotia as the place to do business.”
Deep Sky Eye Observatory in Quinan – North America’s first certified Starlight Tourist Destination – is the winner of the first Tourism Business of the Year award.
Small businesses prevailed in all of the other categories, except Business of the Year (11+ employees), which was won by Tri-Star Industries Ltd.
Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce first vice-president Angie Greene spoke at the start of the evening. She talked about the many attributes – from its geography, to its people, to its resources, to its many other assets – that make Yarmouth a good place to run a business and said this is the narrative the community should be focusing on more and one the chamber intends to push more.
“I’ve talked to people who have moved to Yarmouth from across the country and every single one of them … has met residents who have asked the question, ‘Why would you move to Yarmouth?’” she said, saying the question does not instill confidence that they may have made the right decision.
And, she added, “We don't need to tell our young people they need to go elsewhere to be happy. They can be happy here in Yarmouth.”
Green said as a community we need to let our young people – our students who have yet to graduate – about all of the potential and possibilities that a career in business holds.
“We need to tell our kids that they can go on to get a business degree,” she said.
Wade Cleveland emceed for the evening. Presenting sponsors were RBC and Grant Thornton, while supporting sponsors were Y95-CJLS, Eastlink and TD Bank.
The following is the complete list of the 2018 winners and runners-up:
• Business of the Year (1-10 employees)
Winner: Yarmouth Big Bounce Rentals
Honourable mention: Old World Bakery and Deli
Honourable mention: King George P. Contracting Ltd.
• Business of the Year (11+ employees)
Winner: Tri-Star Industries Ltd.
Honourable mention: A. F. Theriault & Son Ltd.
Honourable mention: McDonald’s Yarmouth (Jacmar Restaurants)
• Tourism Business of the Year
Winner: Deep Sky Eye Observatory
Honourable mention: Song of the Paddle
Honourable mention: Wine and Beer Tours of Nova Scotia
• Export Achievement Award
Winner: Warp Textiles Inc.
Honourable mention: Comeau’s Sea Foods Ltd.
• Community Impact Award
Winner: D. K. Muise Motors
Honourable mention: Toulon Development Corporation (Yarmouth Mall owners)
• Customer Service of the Year
Winner: Sylvia Dalton (Polished & Wrapped)
Honourable mention: Guy Surette (Tusket Ultra Mart Ltd.)
Honourable mention: Tony White (Victory Realty)
• Boss of the Year
Winner: Brandy Berry (Coles Yarmouth)
Honourable mention: Ann MacKenzie (TD Canada Trust)
Honourable mention: Dan Goodwin (Yarmouth Regional Hospital)
• Employee of the Year
Winner: Tracey LeBlanc (Pleasant Supplies Timber Mart)
Honourable mention: Lee McDonald (White Perkins Associates Chartered Professional Accountants Inc.)
Honourable mention: Ritchie Hopkins (D. K. Muise Motors)
• Rising Star of the Year
Winner: Heritage Brewing Co.
Honourable mention: Gaia Global Kitchen
Honourable mention: Julie Mood (Jenesis Interiors)
• Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Winner: Julie Mood (Jenesis Interiors)
Honourable mention: Brooklyn Higgins (Maritime Slime)
Honourable mention: Denise Alison (Stratigro Social Media Marketing)