Carleton Place...

A nice to place to visit, a great place to call home!

 

 

Business Awards of Excellence Nominees

Welcome to the 2017 Business Awards of Excellence nominee information page. Please take the time to review the information on each of the nominees.

To view the nominees, click the category tab and it will open, listing the nominees. To close that category, click the tab again. 

We congratulate all of the nominees and wish them all the very best of luck! 

Join us for the 2017 Business Awards of Excellence Gala on Friday, October the 20th at The Grand Hotel,  7 Bridge Street, Carleton Place. For more information or to register, please click here or give us a call at 613-257-1976.

 

Business of the Year (6)

Mitchell's Your Independent Grocer 

The Beckwith Butcher 

Jeff Julian State Farm Insurance 

St. James Gate

Apple Hill Towing 

Carleton Place Winery


 

Mitchell's Your Independent Grocer - Jeff Mitchell 

 

1) Tell us about your business.  What is your product, what services do you provide?  Who are your clients? 

We have a full service grocery store. we provide I wide range of fresh, frozen, household products along with pharmacy, health .Joe Fresh and Beer. We service Carleton Place and surrounding area.

 

2) What were the business/business person’s most important achievements/contributions to the community in 2017?

We support many groups within the community such as the little Black dress event for cancer. Mills community Support, Lanark county food bank, Carleton Place Canadians Hockey club and Carleton Place Hospital. Along with these major sponsorships we also donate in excess of $50,000 a year to other local charities.  

 

3) What is exceptional about this business or business person? Why do you feel this business/business person merits nomination as Business/Business Person of the Year?

We a proud to be store owners supporting Carleton Place and surrounding areas. we employ 200 residents of Carleton Place and we believe that being a good community leader and supporting the residents is important. 


 

The Beckwith Butcher - Rob Carpenter 

 

1) Tell us about your business.  What is your product, what services do you provide?  Who are your clients? 

We are a full service butcher shop specializing in as local as possible fresh meats. Our beef comes from the Kingston area.   We make 6 varieties of hamburger patties and approximately 30 kinds of in house made sausages including some gluten free. Offer chicken and a variety of marinated Chicken a various pork cuts.  Our kabobs come in Chicken, Pork and beef and come plain or in a variety of marinades.   We also have a deli, carry a variety of local product such as St Albert's cheese, Thompson Maple Syrup, Sweet Bee Honey and Beking eggs from cage free chickens.  Also have a variety of BBQ sauces. We are also a distributor for Traeger Smokers and pellets.  We provide smokers and pig roaster for pig roasts. We provide freezer orders which are seasonally tailored.  Our clients come from all walks of life and from the across the Ottawa valley.

2) What were the business/business person’s most important achievements/contributions to the community in 2017?

We are involved in continued support for the Carleton Place Canadians Junior A Team.  Member of Hometown Hearts where we raised over $8,000. for PTSD local heroes by putting on a BBQ.  Continued support to the Hospital Auxiliary & Foundation. Continues to support the CHEO foundation. Provided demonstration for 4H club on how to process meat. Continued financial success and sustaining 8 person staff.  Opened a second business adjacent to the Butchery employing 8 more staff at the Beckwith Kitchen which provides quality homemade meals and desserts all made in house.

3) What is exceptional about this business or business person? Why do you feel this business/business person merits nomination as Business/Business Person of the Year?

The Beckwith Butcher has been in Business for 30 years.  He started his business at his home in Beckwith then moving to what was Art's Variety Store & Gas station and then to his current location on Costello Drive.  During this time he has employed many people from the area and provided employment for many students.  He continues to provide service to farmers by processing their beef.  He also continues to  provide cutting and wrapping services to hunters who come to him from across the Ottawa Valley.  What started as a small home business with a small variety to offer has expanded to a full service providing many varieties and including some gluten free products. The Beckwith Kitchen, his new business, was a dream of his in order to provide the community with another option for home cooked meals and baking which are all made in house.  Rob has always been involved in community providing service and donating products and his time.  He is a perfectionist at his craft in order to provide the best possible product.  He strives to provide top customer service (including staying open after hours - providing repair service to customers who have purchase BBQs) and instills these values to his staff. Many people will tell you he just never stops.

 


 

Jeff Julian State Farm Insurance - Jeff Julian 

 

1) Tell us about your business.  What is your product, what services do you provide?  Who are your clients? 

Jeff Julian State Farm Agency has been in business for the past 10 years in Carleton Place. Our mission is to listen to your concerns, understand your needs and respond to your insurance requirements quickly and efficiently so that you can realize your hopes, goals and dreams. Our vision is to build on yesterday's successes to meet tomorrow's challenges by putting the customer first providing insurance coverage for everything from home, auto, business to boat, snowmobile, ATV & motorcycles. The agency also provides a full line of Life Insurance plans and Financial Investment products. 

2) What were the business/business person’s most important achievements/contributions to the community in 2017?

Jeff Julian State Farm was in  2009 awarded with the Ambassador Award for hitting their financial services target. In 2009-2010 the agency was awarded the Readers Choice Award presented by the Canadian Gazette. In 2013 the Bronze Tablet Award was received for five years Legion of Honor which is for hitting the life insurance target requirements for each year. In 2014, won the Canadian Small Business Premier Program Award. Jeff was the first Eastern Ontario agent to receive this award in the 80 year history of State Farm in Canada. In 2017 he will be awarded the Silver Scroll for 10 years Legion of Honor. Jeff Julian State Farm has been a Select Agent for the past ten years.
   

3) What is exceptional about this business or business person? Why do you feel this business/business person merits nomination as Business/Business Person of the Year?

Jeff Julian was born and raised in Carleton Place. he is a proud supporter of the community events and a local community volunteer. After twenty years in the Insurance Industry, he opened the State Farm agency in a small office in a small rental office space employing two people. The business has grown to the point that a new office was built in 2013 where he now employs five people that reside in the Carleton Place area. 


 

St. James Gate - Shane Charania 

 

1) Tell us about your business.  What is your product, what services do you provide?  Who are your clients? 

 

2) What were the business/business person’s most important achievements/contributions to the community in 2017?

 

3) What is exceptional about this business or business person? Why do you feel this business/business person merits nomination as Business/Business Person of the Year?

 


 

Apple Hill Towing - Brent Devlin 

 

1) Tell us about your business.  What is your product, what services do you provide?  Who are your clients? 

 

2) What were the business/business person’s most important achievements/contributions to the community in 2017?

 

3) What is exceptional about this business or business person? Why do you feel this business/business person merits nomination as Business/Business Person of the Year?

 


Carleton Place Winery - Mary Ann Harrison 

 

1) Tell us about your business.  What is your product, what services do you provide?  Who are your clients? 

 

2) What were the business/business person’s most important achievements/contributions to the community in 2017?

 

3) What is exceptional about this business or business person? Why do you feel this business/business person merits nomination as Business/Business Person of the Year?

 

Community Involvement (5)

Hollywood Fit Studio

Thorbjornsson Group Ltd

RBC Carleton Place Branch

Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth

Bean Chevrolet Buick GMC

 


Hollywood Fit Studio - Holly Bogaerts

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

 

2) Please describe how your business or staff have been active in the community over the last year. 

 

3) Why is the business committed to community involvement? 


 

Thorbjornsson Group Ltd - Wally Thorbjornsson

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

The Thorbjornsson Group is a group of companies owned by Wally Thorbjornsson and family. We are landlords, property managers, builder, developer, investor and we work in all fields of construction and real-estate. We build and rent commercial and residential properties. Our clients on the commercial site are mostly local small business and we have over 100 of them renting from us. we are proud of our extensive network of small businesses and we continuously work on bringing more businesses to town. On the residential side we manage and rent our all types of housing. 

2) Please describe how your business or staff have been active in the community over the last year. 

Community involvement is close to our hearts. We are probably best known for the Wally's Classic Strongman competition that we have been hosting annually for five years. a world class event that always brings lots of attention to our town. Our staff volunteers a lot of their time to make that happen every year. We are a founding member of the Home town heart group that is a local charity and we have been very active in fundraising there both to support our local hero's to get treatment for PTSD as well as building up local emergency fund. We make dozens of financial donations every year and some local groups like Interval House we have supported monthly for years. Owners and staff regularly volunteer at downtown events, sporting events and races in our community. Our doors have always been open for those in needs. 

3) Why is the business committed to community involvement? 

We believe that those that can help should help. We don't just do it because it's the right thing to do, we do it to build a stronger community. We believe that everyone should be treated the same and everyone should get a fair chance. We support those who need it the most and we happily stand up for those who can not stand for themselves. 

 


 

RBC - Kosta Paloukos (Branch Manager) 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

We are a full service financial institution serving the town of Carleton Place and surrounding community for all their personal and business banking needs. Our expert staff aim to provide top-notch advice to our clients to ensure their financial well-being for the long term. Our purpose is to help our clients thrive and communities prosper.

2) Please describe how your business or staff have been active in the community over the last year. 

Our staff are involved in numerous community activities throughout the year. Some key highlights are: annual Christmas basket raffle in support of local charities, support of the hospital foundation's annual "Bed Pan Classic" golf tournament, participated in the inaugural delivery of "Junior Achievement" in Carleton Place to local students, the upcoming RBC Race for the Kids in support of CHEO, and active participation in downtown activities like the Bazaar.

3) Why is the business committed to community involvement? 

It's in our DNA! RBC's purpose is to help our clients thrive and communities prosper, and that holds true for the team at the Carleton Place branch. We are proud to be part of the Carleton Place community and know that the best way to show that is by actively contributing back to our community. Expect to see more of us in the year ahead!

 


 

Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth - Kevin Clouthier 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth is the Canadian Accreditation Association accredited provider of mental health services for children, youth and their families in Carleton Place and throughout Lanark County.  Funded primarily by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services with additional funding from Ministry of Education, Open Doors for Lanark Children and youth serve approximately 1300 children and youth between birth and 18. Research has demonstrated that one in five children and youth are living daily with a mental health problem.  Our highly trained clinical staff meet children and youth in schools, the homes of the people with whom we work and also in one of our three offices.  To better serve those in need,  staff collaborate with children, youth and their families with other organizations in developing treatment plans to resolve mental issues and to develop resilience.  In addition to these direct services, Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth indirectly influences mental well-being through collaborative programming with other community service partners. These programs take the form of community development, education and support of other projects that enhance the lives of children. Our staff  contribute their knowledge and time in support of activities that assist in children and youth gaining confidence, becoming more resilient and healthier across Carleton Place as well as other communities in the County.

2) Please describe how your business or staff have been active in the community over the last year. 

The mental wellbeing of children and youth is achieved, supported and sustained and not by one organization in isolation but rather through the numerous resources that exist within the community.  Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth staff deliver mental health treatment to children and youth who have  been identified as demonstrating issues.  However, we also work with community numerous organizations and citizens to reach others who have not been brought to our attention.  Staff participate on numerous collaborations that deliver a broad spectrum of services.  Counted among these are Lanark Planning Council for Children, Youth and Families that is a consortium of 40 organizations that work together to address issues ranging from education, recreation, transportation, health and mental health.  Best Start is a group of organizations that are concerned with developing and delivering services to get those in their early years off to a strong start in life.  Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth staff serve as Chairs or Co-Chairs on both of these groups.  A few additional working groups include participating in protocols to reduce child and youth suicide, another to deliver service for isolated families that are experiencing risk and programming to deploy service to reduce the incidence of homelessness.  These are but a few of the ways that Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth staff contribute to wellbeing in addition to the delivery of mental health services in schools, homes  and offices.

3) Why is the business committed to community involvement? 

Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth remains committed to community involvement to help the families of children and youth in need of mental health supports and thereby make Carleton Place a better place to live and raise a family.  This is the business of our organization.  Our mission is to make it possible for children and youth to live, learn and thrive in the community. 

 


Bean Chevrolet Buick GMC- Keith Bean 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

 

2) Please describe how your business or staff have been active in the community over the last year. 

 

3) Why is the business committed to community involvement? 

 


 

Customer Service  (6)

The Floral Boutique 

Regional Plumbing & Water Treatment 

Seamless Auto Care

Valley Paint & Coatings  

All Purpose Towing

Lakeside Shawarma 


The Floral Boutique - Erica Zwicker 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

We are a flower shop that creates unique, custom designed arrangements for any occasion. We carry an extensive selection of exotic flowers and tropical plants, as well as gift and home décor items. We provide worldwide delivery service. Our clients range in age from 5 years old to 95. The common thread among our clients are that they appreciate the beauty of flowers and plants and they realize how much flowers are appreciated by the recipient. Depending on the occasion, when offering thoughtful floral designs from our store, our clients are hoping to evoke a feeling of comfort, celebration, appreciation, etc...

2) Why is customer service important to your business? 

We serve about 50% of our clients in the store, about 50% place orders by phone and a small percentage contact us via the internet (e-mail, facebook, etc..). Many of our clients who come into the store are looking for a gift to take with them. Often the client is part of the creative process as the arrangement is being designed in front of them.  Many clients are placing orders for future dates to be delivered to loved ones. Because our product is so visual, one of the biggest challenges that we have when serving clients, especially over the phone, is ensuring that we are communicating effectively. Our main objective is to create a floral arrangement, within the client's budget, that will be appropriate for the occasion and that will meet and exceed the client's expectations.

3) What is exceptional about the quality of service offered by this business? 

We welcome clients to come into the shop to enjoy the atmosphere and be inspired by the plants, flowers and designs. We encourage clients to browse- we don't want to make people feel pressured to make a purchase. We have extensive experience in the floral field and therefore are able to advise clients confidently on questions they may have. We do the research if we don't know the answer. Our goal is for clients to feel at ease and confident that they are in good hands.  When there are hiccups or customers that have not been satisfied (yes, this does happen from time to time) we do everything we can to ensure that ,in the end, the client is completely satisfied with their experience in dealing with The Floral Boutique.  We put our heart and soul into providing good service and making every client feel special.


Regional Plumbing & Water Treatment - Rob Bradley 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

Clear and concise communication is important and I take the time to ensure clients understand the work that will be completed. I communicate in a professional and courteous manner ensuring that original quotations for work are clear answering any questions clients may have. I complete work in a timely and professional manner explaining the different options available to clients. I respect the workplace and treat each client as though I were working in my family's home.

2) Why is customer service important to your business? 

Establishing a good rapport with clients while catering to their specific needs and providing high quality plumbing and water treatment service. Offering a great product/service to clients that exceeds their expectations. Ensuring client satisfaction upon job completion as well as being passionate, energetic, easy going, personable and hard-working.

3) What is exceptional about the quality of service offered by this business? 

My number one priority is providing exceptional customer service to our customers and supporting the community that we grew up in. As a local business we support varies groups in the area. I believe in kids playing sports and so our business provides jerseys and covers the cost of travel expenses for youth soccer, basketball and rugby teams. We also support community charities like the run for the cure, the army run and events that support the kidney foundation.

 


Seamless Auto Care - Shawn Greenberg

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

We are a full service auto repair and performance tuning shop. We also specialize in European brands such as VW/Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Volvo and Smart. We are family owned and operated. 

2) Why is customer service important to your business? 

It's all in the name. We endeavor to provide our customers with a "Seamless" experience in maintaining and repairing their vehicles. Our customers entrust us with one of their most expensive possessions and we ensure that this trust is well earned. We do all the work in-house and do not subcontract out general repairs. This enables us to have total control over the quality of work. 

3) What is exceptional about the quality of service offered by this business? 

We never use low quality parts and we never cut corners on the quality of our work. We will never compromise these values in order to save a dollar. Our customers leave knowing that they have received the absolute best possible service. It is this premium service that our customers have come to appreciate. 

 


Valley Paint & Coatings  

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

 

2) Why is customer service important to your business? 

 

3) What is exceptional about the quality of service offered by this business? 

 


All Purpose Towing - Peter Porteous 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

 

2) Why is customer service important to your business? 

 

3) What is exceptional about the quality of service offered by this business? 

 


Lakeside Shawarma - Moe Hajo

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

We are a family owned and operated business providing authentic Middle Eastern cuisine to Carleton Place and the surrounding area. Our diverse menu includes freshly prepared chicken shawarma, beef donair, falafel, and our famous fattoush salad. All ingredients are prepared in-store daily, so our customers can be sure that their food is fresh and healthy. With the convenience of fast-food and the freshness of an authentic home-cooked meal, people of any age can be guaranteed to enjoy their meal at Lakeside Shawarma.

2) Why is customer service important to your business? 

As a small family owned and operated business, the satisfaction of our customers is always our top priority. We would not be a successful business without the loyalty and support of our customers.

3) What is exceptional about the quality of service offered by this business? 

At Lakeside Shawarma, our goal is to provide an exceptional customer-business relationship that makes anyone dining in our restaurant feel comfortable, valued, and appreciated. When customers come to our restaurant, they are guaranteed excellent service, affordable prices, a welcoming environment, and a delicious, filling meal. In addition, what separates us from other businesses is taking the time to get to know our customers personally. Establishing a genuine relationship with our customers and memorizing their orders is what makes their experiences at Lakeside Shawarma unlike any other.

 


 

Entrepreneur of the Year (4)

Giardino Lifestyle Salon & Academy 

Black Tartan Kitchen

The Good Food Tour

NextGen Sign Specialists 

 


 

Giardino Lifestyle Salon & Academy - Nick Giardino 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

Giardino Lifestyle Salon & Academy is a chic hair and beauty salon located in the downtown sector of Carleton Place. We offer the utmost in premium hairdressing services and retail products to our clients who insist on the very best. All of our guests are unique and we aim to provide each with unparalleled personalized service while relaxing in elegant surroundings.

2) How was the idea for your business conceived? What made the owner think the business would be a success?

The idea for Giardino Lifestyle Salon & Acadmey was conceived from the success of other hair salons that were owned and operated in the past. After spending the last several years running a rewarding business in Guelph, there was a desire for change. The Ottawa area was appealing and after careful consideration of various suburbs decided upon the Town of Carleton Place as the location for a "destination" salon. It has been experienced that when a client finds a stylist who can give "the" perfect cut or they discover that hair colour genius, they will fall into a routine that lasts for years. Carleton Place is a "destination" locale for many unique services and it was felt intuitively that this salon would be a successful venture in the downtown business line up.

3) What challenges have you met and overcome in the first years of business?

The most daunting challenge was renovating the space that would be the salon. At times it seemed like our doors would never open for business. After a few setbacks, and with much hard work by local tradesmen, this task was accomplished. The next challenge was awaiting clients. Where would they come from and how would we acquire them? A marketing strategy had to be implemented. Determining how to best spend hard earned dollars that would give back the greatest return on investment is never foolproof but necessary for the growth of any business. Rather quickly our client base grew which we discovered was mostly from referrals. There is no greater compliment than when a guest has appreciated their services enough to recommend you to others. One ongoing challenge is that of acquiring staff. We would like to expand the business to include other stylists but it has been surprisingly difficult to hire and then maintain personnel. The concept of the business was not only to provide salon services to our guests but to educate stylists as well. We extend the opportunity to any existing or upcoming hairstylist who desire to share our vision for creating the best possible experience in the salon industry. It is only the beginning of year two for our business and we are very fortunate to have achieved much success with the continuing support of community and friends.

4) What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs in business?

Our advice for other entrepreneurs is to pursue work that you care about. To be satisfied in life you must truly believe in what you do. We never know the outcome of our efforts unless we actually do it. Belief in yourself will help you succeed but keep in mind no one succeeds in business alone so have a good support system in place. Build a network of quality relationships. Most importantly, spend wisely and learn from your mistakes... we all make them in business. Being an "Entrepreneur" is a journey, not a destination. Learn to love the journey and to enjoy the slow, steady movements toward what you dream of.

 

Black Tartan Kitchen - Ian Carswell

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

Black Tartan Kitchen is a casual fine dining restaurant in the heart of downtown Carleton Place.  Our menu celebrates the current season and showcases local products from Lanark County and the Ottawa Valley.  Our clients are the reason we strive to create the best dining experience we can.  They come from Carleton Place, Ottawa and beyond looking for great food, polished service, and an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere. 

2) How was the idea for your business conceived? What made the owner think the business would be a success?

The idea for Black Tartan Kitchen was conceived over a year of getting together with colleagues in the hospitality industry over good food and wine, discussing what our ideal restaurant would be.  As a formally trained chef, the thought of opening a restaurant was ever present.  Eventually brainstorming sessions evolved into serious market research, which indicated that although the Ottawa market was saturated with great restaurants, there were fewer options for residents in the Western surrounding communities.  We were interested in Carleton Place specifically due to its planned development and although it has many high quality casual eateries, there seemed to an absence of fine dining options.  Based on our initial projections, it was essential to find a property that we could purchase (to avoid unpredictable lease fluctuations) that was already an existing restaurant (to minimize start-up costs).  We were able to find the ideal property in Carleton Place and embarked on building the business. Our original goals and objectives were to: maintain a healthy bottom line, establish a solid team of employees, build a strong client base, develop partnerships with local farms and producers, and become involved in local volunteer work and community projects.  The main objective was to create an inspiring, fulfilling work environment where we could be proud of the products we are creating and the services we are providing. 

3) What challenges have you met and overcome in the first years of business?

As with any start-up, there were many obstacles and challenges in the first year of business.  The first challenge was obtaining financing to purchase the building and to cover start-up costs including: renovations, interior design, kitchen equipment, tableware and inventory.  The next challenge was establishing protocols, policies and procedures for HR and staffing while allowing for flexibility as the team, roles and expectations evolved.  Balancing time to be creative in the kitchen with the everyday duties of running a business has proved to be difficult.  Then there are the day-to-day obstacles of adapting the menu to an ever-changing supply and volume of local produce.  The kitchen equipment also requires constant maintenance, repair or replacement.  In the first year it has also been difficult to determine which marketing strategies will be most effective: where to get the most exposure and reach the largest target audience.  Finally, there is a great personal time commitment involved in starting a new business.  There have been many 16 hour days and 6-day work weeks that are nearly impossible to balance with the great responsibilities and rewards of raising two young children. 

4) What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs in business?

Our advice would be that starting a business will not be easy.  It requires an incredible amount of perseverance – which appears to be the most important quality of a successful entrepreneur.  It also requires an unbelievable supply of energy, confidence and resolve.  You will receive a lot of suggestions, comments and criticisms on how to run your business - like this for example.  It is important to listen to these suggestions and weigh them, but ultimately you must choose what is best for your growing business and be confident with your own ideas, following through with your decisions.  In the end, you are the one who knows your product best, understands your brand and what you are capable of.  


 

The Good Food Tour - Cathy Reside 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

The Good Food Tour is guided 2.5-3 hour walking tour where we eat and sample local specialties at 6-7 different food establishments and hear interesting historical stories of our friendly town. At some of our partner's locations they go behind the scenes to learn how things are made! Customers have been Ottawa (55%) and the local area (45%).

2) How was the idea for your business conceived? What made the owner think the business would be a success?

In the fall of 2015 I had an opportunity to work with some great folks in town who were idea people, motivated, hardworking and committed. Their energy was contagious. I wanted to work more with people like that. That set the stage for my lightbulb moment. The Good Food Tour was conceived after going on my first food tour in Las Vegas in May 2016.  It may be hard to believe that Las Vegas could be an inspiration for Almonte but it was. The owner of the tour was as passionate about all the small businesses as she was about the food establishments. I too am passionate about the businesses here.  It hit me like nothing ever had before.   A food tour would be perfect for Almonte and I would love doing it! I just had to pursue it.  I began quietly researching food tours and how to start a business. I went on other food tours and asked a lot of questions of the owners.  I researched how to write a business plan and wrote one up to the best of my abilities. I made a list of mentors I could show my plan to and nervously asked them their opinion of my business plan. The support and advice I got was generous and positive.

3) What challenges have you met and overcome in the first years of business?

The learning curve and time commitment was huge: workshops, courses, conferences, networking, writing applications for funding, getting to know the industry better, getting food partners on board.  The learning never stops but the systems and processes are in place and kinks worked out.

4) What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs in business?

1. Listen to the advice from other business owners and mentors. Their experience is valuable. 2. Take advantage of every program available for businesses. They are there to help. 3. When a door slams in your face don't take it personally. 4. Be kind and help others along the way.

 


 

NextGen Sign Specialists - Lauren Musker

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

We are a small yet very talented group of people who combined, have over 20 years of experience designing, manufacturing and installing all types of indoor and outdoor custom signage in the Ottawa and Valley surroundings. NEXTGEN professionally designs and produces everything from custom lettering, banners, vehicle lettering and graphics, full fleet wraps, channel lettering and much more!  We are located in Carleton Place,  however…have boom truck, will travel!  Our clients range from small to large size business owners, property and development managers, fleet operators, real estate offices, school boards, cities and townships, to individual clients. We pride ourselves on providing fast friendly service, that you and your pocket book will be happy with. 

 

2) How was the idea for your business conceived? What made the owner think the business would be a success?

A couple years ago, we were presented with an unfortunate cross-roads situation that left us forced to make some tough decisions about our future.  Combined, we have over 20 years of experience in this industry, and our gut instincts told us over and over again not to throw it all away.  Like most brilliant ideas, this business was conceived over many late night conversations, idea sessions, heart to heart chats, and... wine!   We had absolutely no idea that it would blossom as quickly as it has, and truthfully, we weren’t expecting to see any fruit until a few years from now.   Why did we think it would be a success?  We didn’t.  But we knew in our hearts that if we took the lessons learned of what NOT to do, that our good reputation and solid network would work in our favour.

 

3) What challenges have you met and overcome in the first years of business?

We were very fortunate to be busy on day one.  The challenge we had being a (married!) team of two, was keeping up with the demand.  We hung on as long as we possibly and physically could, but eventually it reached a point where simple necessities like sleep and a home cooked meal were being compromised.  We decided to add a full time employee just a few months ago, and in looking back it was a very wise decision.  Now we can keep our concentrated efforts on caring for our clients the way we had promised when opening.  How does the saying go... “You can’t care for others if you don’t take care of yourself...”

 

4) What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs in business?

Treat people right.  Honestly, that’s it.  It doesn’t matter what your product or service is, whether its designing widgets, manufacturing widgets, shipping widgets, or consulting about widgets.  Appreciate that your clients are paying your way, putting your kids in dance lessons and filling your tank with gas - treat them like gold in any stage of the process.  It will pay off ten-fold in the long run.

 

Employee/Team of the Year (4)

Kirk Orthodontics 

Carleton Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning Ltd. - Roger Holmes 

Staples - Julie Hunter 

Renewed With Love Bridal Outlet


 

Kirk Orthodontics 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

Drs. Danae and Christopher Kirk are certified specialists in orthodontics. Together with their professional, highly skilled team, ‘Team Kirk’, they are devoted to delivering exceptional, personalized orthodontic care in a fun and friendly environment.  Their specialty is helping their patients, including children, teens and adults achieve beautiful, lasting smiles using the latest technology in clear and metal braces as well as Invisalign. 

2) What behaviors does this employee/team exhibit that makes them exceptional? 

Team Kirk at Kirk Orthodontics takes great care to ensure that the patient experience is extraordinary. They believe excellent communication is the foundation of a positive experience and the entire team strives to deliver this whether in the clinic at an initial consultation, navigating insurance documentation or discussing orthodontic treatment progression. Their detail-oriented clinical care and fun patient atmosphere make orthodontic treatment a comfortable and enjoyable experience for both children and adults. Team Kirk continually works to develop systems and routines to ensure efficient treatment, ensuring beautiful results. We work together as cheerleaders to motivate and encourage patients throughout their exciting smile transformation. 

3) Can you provide any examples of any outstanding feedback you have received regarding this employee/team?

It is not uncommon children and adults to be anxious when visiting the dentist, however once patients visit our office and are greeted by our amazing team, patients immediately feel at ease. During our initial consultation, patients understand that as orthodontists specializing in only braces and invisalign used to align the teeth and jaws, our appointments are quick, very comfortable and result in noticeable, beautiful changes. We are often told by our patients how easy and painless it was the day the braces go on. One of our favorite times in the clinic is the day the braces come off revealing a beautiful new smile! Patients are often surprised when they look at their ‘before’ photos and compare them to their brilliant new smile! 


 

Carleton Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning Ltd. - Roger Holmes 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

 

2) What behaviors does this employee/team exhibit that makes them exceptional? 

 

3) Can you provide any examples of any outstanding feedback you have received regarding this employee/team?

 

 


 

Staples - Julie Hunter

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

In the Staples Print & Marketing Department, we are dedicated to finding print, marketing, and business solutions for small, medium or large business endeavors. We provide services ranging from in-house printing, binding, stationery and business cards to a huge variety of promotional products to support your business brand. We serve the local residents and businesses of Carleton Place and the Ottawa Area and Valley. 

2) What behaviors does this employee/team exhibit that makes them exceptional? 

Julie is incredibly positive - a ray of sunshine. She goes above and beyond her job description (ie. working longer hours, taking work home with her, designing, helping those with special projects, finding ways to get what the customers want). Julie makes customers feel special and not like just another number. She puts heart and soul into her work, and offers superb training of new employees, gives great feedback and helps staff learn through experiential education. Since she has begun working here about a year ago, our ‘small town’ copy centre is ranked #1 in our Region, making amazing connections with our community. 

3) Can you provide any examples of any outstanding feedback you have received regarding this employee/team?

Here are just some of the many customer comments we have received: - “As as I said before Julie was great. She was extremely professional and wonderful to work with. SHe was pleasant and caring and sensitive to our special needs for memorial cards for my sisters funeral. Thanks Julie. Julie was amazing. We needed memorial cards for my sisters funeral and knew that it would be difficult since stores would be closed early Chrismas eve and Christmas Day. Julie worked really hard and came thru for us though there was a minor hitch. She got the cards done on time and they were beautiful. Thanks Julie for being so caring and such a pleasure to deal with. Joanne & Henry Murphy.” - “I have dealt with Julie and the other staff (Chris and another lady whose name escapes me) who are always there with a smile, extremely professional, pleasant and helpful. The manager is also very friendly, helpful and pleasant whenever we cross paths. Our local theatre company use Staples very frequently for most of our printing needs (and intend to switch to ALL our printing needs because of their professionalism and helpfulness) and even when extremely busy, Julie and the others always seem to make every customer feel comfortable and acknowledged, making sure everyone knows they have been seen and will be dealt with as soon as possible. Customer service in this store is excellent. 10/10!!” - “I bring all of my print orders to Staples in Carleton Place. They are always professional and the work is completed with quality and in a timely manner. All interactions I have had with the print staff have been positive and they look to make my printing and purchasing experience the best possible” - “Julie provided very friendly and personal service. There was a store alarm ringing at the time (distracting for everyone) but she still provided excellent service to several customers at that time.” - “Julie ensured that my order was produced to my satisfaction, and, what is more, completed it well in advance of when she said it would be ready. She herself said it was due to fortuitous circumstances, but I still appreciate that when she had the time to do anything else, she went ahead and made sure my order was completed early.” - “Julie ensured that the product I wanted to make via Staples Copy & Print would be done to my satisfaction, within the capabilities of the in-store Copy & Print resources. On top of that, she told me to expect that my order would be ready the following morning (as I submitted it late in the day), but within about an hour -and-a-half of my placing the order, she called to tell me it was ready. She herself said that it was due to fortuitous circumstances, but all the same, I appreciate that she took the initiative to complete the order even though there was no expectation on my part that it should have been done so” - “Julie at the Carleton Place Staples is always so friendly and accommodating. She makes purchasing print materials through Staples hassle free and enjoyable.” -“Julie Easily facilitated a change in order when a mistake was sent through and greeted me very warmly at time of pickup.” - “Called with a general inquiry on a service and ended up with a sample ready for review by my client within a couple hours. Very helpful and efficient! Thank you.” - “Julie took care of the entire process. cards were perfect.” - “Very polite. Corrected an error made by me with no hesitation.” - “Huge smile, patient and asked all the right questions to enable me to get the perfect product” -“She always has a smile and willingness to go over and above to make sure her clients are well taken care of. Very knowledgeable and represents Staples very well. All your staff is great, we were particularly please d to have Julie helping us with the services that day, a pleasure to had deal with Her.” -“Julie was extremely friendly. Answered all of my questions and provided the order as I requested.” -“This store is always so helpful! Usually served by the lady at print shop with strawberry blonde curly hair :) thank you!” -“Very friendly and helpful, making suggestions to make our project better and really appreciate that.” 


 

 Renewed With Love Bridal Outlet

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

Renewed With Love is off the rack bridal outlet offering designer bridal gowns at up to 70%, we are "everyday sample sale" without compromising the bridal experience! In our cozy boutique we have hundreds of genuine brand new, & sample designer wedding dresses in sizes 6 through 28 with new inventory arriving almost daily! We have Brides visit us from near and far, primarily catering to Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. 

2) What behaviors does this employee/team exhibit that makes them exceptional? 

Our team continues to go above and beyond, offering the very best in a bridal shopping experience. Our outstanding reputation, through word of mouth and the reviews we receive, precedes us. We strive to make a Bride feel her absolute best as we help find her the perfect gown for her to marry her best friend in, never losing sight of what is best for her. We provide a fun and exciting experience for both the Bride and her loved ones, everything wedding dress shopping should be. 

3) Can you provide any examples of any outstanding feedback you have received regarding this employee/team?

"Finding your dress is one thing but having a lovely experience is another and they definitely nailed it!" - Renewed With Love Bride "Renewed With Love Bridal Outlet was everything I thought the wedding dress shopping experience should be!" - Renewed With Love Bride "I could tell that finding me the right dress, the dress I loved was the consultant's priority." - Renewed With Love Bride "The ladies at Renewed With Love Bridal Outlet are beyond amazing!" - Renewed With Love Bride "Shopping for my dress at Renewed With Love Bridal Outlet has been my favorite part of wedding planning and preparation!" - Renewed With Love Bride "These ladies do it right!" - Renewed With Love Bride "My experience at Renewed With Love was so wonderful, intimate and special. My consultant made the time magical and she was so helpful and encouraging! If you are looking for your dress I definitely recommend checking out this place for a great experience." - Renewed With Love Bride 

People's Choice (5)

Carleton Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning Ltd.

Hollywood Fit Studio

Marked Paintball & Laser Tag

Kirk Orthodontics

Black Tartan Kitchen 

 


 

Carleton Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning Ltd.

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

 

2) What were the business’s most important achievements in 2017? 

 

3) What is exceptional about this business? Why do you feel this business merits nomination as People’s Choice Business of the Year?

 

 

Hollywood Fit 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

 

2) What were the business’s most important achievements in 2017? 

 

3) What is exceptional about this business? Why do you feel this business merits nomination as People’s Choice Business of the Year?

 


 

Marked Paintball & Laser Tag 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

We are in the entertainment industry and bring unique experience to those who want to get outdoors, get active and have some fun.   Our paintball field has a variety of terrains that challenge all skill levels and as a result we cater to anyone looking for something fun to do.  From laser tag  to paintball, our clients celebrate special moments such as birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, weekend warriors, family gatherings and so much more.

2) What were the business’s most important achievements in 2017? 

Having  just relaunched and moved the company to Carleton Place, 2017 has been all about establishing the fields, finding local talent who are trained to offer great experiences to growing a member base for others in the area to play with.   Reopening and relaunching has been a huge accomplishment for us.

3) What is exceptional about this business? Why do you feel this business merits nomination as People’s Choice Business of the Year?

Getting people off the sofas and offering a safe place for people to engage in challenging activities is what we are about.   Our facility  breaks down barriers such such as gender, race, and age so everyone gets to play and have the opportunity to perform at their very best.  It is a safe, family friendly unique business that is fun for all ages.

 


 

Kirk Orthodontics 

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

Drs. Danae and Christopher Kirk are certified specialists in orthodontics. Together with their professional, highly skilled team, ‘Team Kirk’, they are devoted to delivering exceptional, personalized orthodontic care in a fun and friendly environment.  Their specialty is helping their patients, including children, teens and adults achieve beautiful, lasting smiles using the latest technology in clear and metal braces as well as Invisalign. 

2) What were the business’s most important achievements in 2017? 

Our primary focus at Kirk Orthodontics is communication and patient education. In addition to discussing patient’s teeth, jaws and smiles at consultation appointments in our office, we feel strongly that there is a greater audience to be reached. By participating in local festivals such as the Bridge Street Summer Festival, we had the opportunity to meet many families who would benefit from orthodontic treatment. Many people are unaware that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends the first orthodontic check up at age 7. Although most children do not require treatment until adolescence, there are many cases where patients were seen too late, making their orthodontic treatment much more challenging, and with a potentially poorer outcome than if they had been seen sooner. With the success of these initial strides into the community, we plan to continue to seek out and participate in local events and do our part to educate the community in order to ensure a future of happy, healthy, beautiful smiles. 

3) What is exceptional about this business? Why do you feel this business merits nomination as People’s Choice Business of the Year?

At Kirk Orthodontics, our goal is much larger than simply smiles. Behind each unique smile is an individual who will realize tremendous long term benefits from orthodontic treatment. For some patients, even minor tooth alignment can have significant effects on improving the long term health of teeth and gums. For other patients, the appearance of their teeth may cause them to feel shy or self-conscious. Correcting their bite can greatly boost these patient’s self esteem and in some cases completely transform their personality and confidence. Other patients suffer some severe functional issues where the jaws are malaligned or mismatched. Sometimes these severe cases require a combination of surgery and orthodontics but the end result is positively life-changing! A smile is universal sign of happiness, laughter and friendship – our goal is for you to love yours and to show it at every opportunity! 
 

 

Black Tartan Kitchen

 

1) Tell us about your business. What is your product, what services do you provide? Who are your clients?

Black Tartan Kitchen is a casual fine dining restaurant in the heart of downtown Carleton Place.  Our menu celebrates the current season and showcases local products from Lanark County and the Ottawa Valley.  Our clients are the reason we strive to create the best dining experience we can.  They come from Carleton Place, Ottawa and beyond looking for great food, polished service, and an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere. 

2) What were the business’s most important achievements in 2017? 

Our most important achievements in 2017 were establishing ourselves in the community, growing our client base, building a solid and well-trained team of local employees, creating partnerships with local suppliers and farmers, increasing brand recognition, and maintaining a healthy bottom-line throughout the first year of business.  We have also been honoured to raise funds through our bread program for the Owl Cafe (a division of ASD services) and volunteer time by leading cooking classes for clients and volunteers of the Lanark Country Food Bank.  We participated in multiple fundraising events, including donating food and time to Taste for Hope and Taste of the County.  We are proud to be in partnership with Stalwart Brewing Co. in creating a new community event: A Feast of Fall to benefit the Friendship Oven Community Project. 

3) What is exceptional about this business? Why do you feel this business merits nomination as People’s Choice Business of the Year?

Black Tartan Kitchen is exceptional because it has big aspirations, while being a very small family-run restaurant.  We aim to not only provide the best dining experience in Carleton Place, but also become a solid pillar in the community.  We not only want to create excellent food, we also want to create an exceptional working environment for our staff.  Our employees are essential to our success and we try to create an inspiring, collegial and supportive workplace.  We think this is reflected in the outstanding customer service that our clients have come to expect from us.  In the kitchen, we push ourselves to be innovative: by creating new dishes inspired by the classics that highlight the very best local and seasonal products.  We feel we have accomplished a lot of our goals in the first year and look forward to continuing to push ourselves to better serve the great community of Carleton Place for many years to come. 

 

 

Voting Procedure (Regular Awards)

  1. Voting for the regular awards will be open to ​members-only​. 
  2. The voting survey will be open for 2 weeks from Friday September 8 - Friday September 22, 2017 and will be advertised through the Carleton Place and District Chamber of Commerce newsletter, direct emails to members, and social media.
  3. The voting survey is linked to each member email address on file and cannot be forwarded. 

Voting Procedure (People's Choice Award)

  1. Voting for the People's Choice Award will be open to all - the public, members, and non-members alike.
  2. The voting survey will be open for 2 weeks from Friday September 8 - Friday September 22, 2017 and will be advertised through the Chamber's newsletter, website, and social media. 
  3. NEW FOR THIS YEAR - A second voting option has been added. Each "like" on a business' corresponding Facebook post will be counted as one vote.

Counting the Votes (Regular Awards)

Each email address will be cross referenced with the voting list to ensure that each member only gets one vote per award.  If there is a discrepancy (more than one vote comes from the same link) the votes will not be counted. Any votes received by non-members will not be counted.

Counting the Votes (People's Choice Award)

Each vote through the survey and Facebook will be counted. Please note that "likes" on the Facebook album itself will not be counted, solely the "likes" on the individual posts within the album. You may vote for more than one business on Facebook by "liking" each of those you wish to vote for.

Announcing the Winners

1. The Chamber will hold the Awards of Excellence Gala on Friday October 20, 2017 and notify all the nominees and Carleton Place and District Chamber members of the date, time and place of the Awards ceremony.
2.  The tickets for the Awards of Excellence Gala will be $80 plus HST and include a 3 course dinner.
3. Attendees will be treated to a Champagne reception while a “congratulations to the nominees” slide show will be playing.
4.  The awards will be presented after dinner.

 

VOTE HERE FOR REGULAR AWARDS

VOTE HERE FOR PEOPLE'S CHOICE

 

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