On Friday October 19, local business owners met and mingled as part of Small Business Week for the Business Awards of Excellence Gala. The annual awards ceremony now in its 6th year, was held at The Grand Hotel in downtown Carleton Place and celebrates the achievements of the local business community and recognizes local business that go above and beyond in their service delivery and involvement in the community.
In all, 21 local businesses were in the spotlight with nominations.
Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and a three course meal at the well appointed Grand Hotel as local business took the spotlight. Table centrepieces were all provided by local business owners who took the opportunity to showcase their business. The centrepiece competition has become a part of the annual event with attendees voting for their favourite and the winner getting bragging rights. This year the BEST centrepiece award was taken by Carleton Place Terrace by Symphony Senior Living. With a theme, “Remember When” the centrepiece featured a classic truck and die cast model takeaways for all of the guests at that table.
Voting was tight in a number of categories, but at the end of the night there was only one winner for each of the awards.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was sponsored by Valley Heartland Community Futures Corporation and the winner was The Good Food Tour – Cathy Reside. Cathy has been delivering a walking food tour this summer bi-weekly in Carleton Place. The tour, called Bites on Bridge features six local restaurants and a lot of local history.
The Team of the Year Award was taken home by Lanark County Interval House. Interval House has been dedicated to supporting women and their children in managing and fleeing violence and abuse since 1979. This team works around the clock to ensure their clients have access to safe place and get the best in service and care.
The Community Involvement Award was awarded to Black Tartan Kitchen. Chef Ian Carswell is very involved with the Lanark County Food Bank – The Hunger Stop as the lead caterer for the annual BOGO dinner, and also participated in Three Chefs and A Food Bank. Carswell is also the inspiration behind SummerFeast, a fundraiser for The Hunger Stop.
Wisteria was the winner of the Excellence in Customer Service Award. Wisteria is a quality ladies consignment shop with new and gently used fashion, jewellery, accessories, quilts home décor and gift items. Wisteria has been a destination in downtown Carleton Place since 2006. The staff there get to know their customers so they can serve them better and feel that good customer service is integral to their success.
The People’s Choice award is voted on by the general public as this year’s winner of the award was Lakeside Shawarma, also in downtown Carleton Place. Owner Moe Hajo originally had planned to open a pizza parlour at the location but quickly realized that that market was already well served in the community. Moe is at work everyday at the crack of dawn and knows most of his customers by name and order. He is truly a favourite in the community.
And each year, the coveted award of course is Business of the Year. The award was presented by the 2017 winner, Rob Carpenter of the Beckwith Butcher. Our winner this year, was Stonefields Estate. Stonefields has grown in leaps and bounds since it first opened in 2010. Stonefields employs 34 staff locally to host over 90 weddings this past year. They are winners of numerous industry awards including Wedding Wires couples choice award. They also partners with many local businesses to deliver a complete an exceptional wedding package to all of their guests and attract clients from far and wide. Their next major addition will be the Stonefields Chapel being built this fall.
The Chamber of Commerce on behalf of all of our members congratulate the winners, all of the businesses nominated this year. A strong and viable business community is an incredible asset to our community at large and brings prosperity to our region. We can’t thank our business community enough for all that they do to make this a better place to live.