2022 Evening of Excellence
On Saturday, April 2nd, 2022 — We hosted a celebration gala honouring the absolute best in Cranbrook business!
With over 80 nominees interviewed as part of the nomination and adjudication process this year’s awards again are continuing to be the largest in our 30 year history. What started as a single customer service award in 1991 has evolved and grown into a complete recognition of excellence in business throughout our community.
Catch up with what happened! ↴ Scroll below to see who took home awards in all 13 categories of excellence.
2022 CATEGORIES OF EXCELLENCE & WINNERS
HOSPITALITY & TOURISM EXCELLENCE AWARD
Presented to: Ella’s Cafe
For 2 years, Ella’s has proudly operated as the only Jamaican/Caribbean restaurant within the East and West Kootenays. As the owner of Ella’s, Aleitha is proud to be an ambassador for her birth country, her happy place, Jamaica. Ella’s has just won the Reader’s Choice Awards – Gold for Best Lunch & Best New Business and Silver for Best Romantic Restaurant. Ella’s is proud to continually offer paramount customer service and food quality. Return customers know their food will be great, today, tomorrow and their every visit in the future. Looking ahead, the Café has big dreams on the horizon, aiming to relocate within a year, as well as hopes to open another location within the next 5.
The Hospitality Excellence Award is presented to a company or organization which demonstrates a commitment to excellence in the areas of hospitality & tourism. This award recognizes true excellence by those who truly embrace going above and beyond. Providing extraordinary customer service and experiences the recipient makes visitors and locals alike feel like they are the number one priority during their visit.
NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR AWARD
Presented to: Operation Street Angel
Opening in 2010, the goal was to have a safe space for individuals to come into when other services are closed. This drop-in center allows individuals to do their laundry, shower, access computers, phones, harm reduction supplies, and most importantly, a sense of community. Street Angel’s aim is also to provide opportunity for people to start building relationship and connection to other services and service providers in a safe and welcoming space. Their priority has been to let people know they mattered. Regardless of where they are at on their life path or healing. They are welcome, just as they are. Operation Street Angel has a wall of photos keeping memory of those who have passed away – it’s become a deeply meaningful way to show care and compassion to honour those individuals that may have otherwise been forgotten. They remind individuals who use their services, that if they show up in a good way for our community the community will show up in a good way for them.
The Non-Profit Organization of the Year award recognizes a non government organization, society or charity that is a not for profit dedicated to making a difference within the sphere of their stated goals and objectives. The recipient has an outstanding record of achievement and meets the highest ethical standards of the non-profit community. The recipient shows a high level of care and concern for the community.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD
Presented to: The Hearing Loss Clinic
1993 introduced the Hearing Loss’ first location; Today, the business has expanded to 8 locations including Cranbrook! Their clinics offer a large scope of services which immensely benefit customers who have often been bounced back and forth between public health and private health to be assisted properly. Prideful of their customer service, the Hearing Loss team offers unlimited visits with their hearing healthcare providers to ensure clients are well-connected to their loved ones, friends and life. From international missions to local stories of compassion, the Hearing Loss Clinic is undoubtable a team comprised of people-passionate individuals looking to make the world a better place.
The Professional Services Excellence award honours a company or professional that provides services to individuals, groups or businesses. The recipient demonstrates an adherence to the highest quality service and support for their customers. Adhering to the exemplary professional standards the recipient demonstrates excellence and is a recognized leader in their professional service industry sector.
RETAILER EXCELLENCE AWARD
Presented to: The Paw Shop
For 13 years The Paw Shop has specialized in dog and cat supplies while aiming to make a difference in the lives of pets by offering healthy food, treat and supplement options. Within the shop is a well-educated team member in canine nutrition, as well as a certified dog-trainer. The Paw Shop continually displays paramount customer service with their ability to really connect with their customers as individual case-studies and builds relationships through exceptional, personalized customer care.
The Retail Excellence award recognizes a business that has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the retail sector. The award recognizes success, innovation, and ethics in business practices. The recipient is a retail leader with a consistent record of accomplishment, innovative business processes, an astute business acumen and overall success. The recipient shows evidence of success that is outstanding for the size of their operation.
INCLUSIVE EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Presented to: Kootenay Computer
Active for 6 years in Cranbrook, the owner of Kootenay Computer has been in the IT business for over 25 years. Prior to diving into the world of IT, the owner was a nurse specialized in developmentally challenged clients and has a deep routed compassion for people with diverse abilities. Kootenay Computer believes everybody has their special power and looks to create a safe environment where skills can be developed and put to good use. They operate a computer donation program, where they will donate computers to low-income individuals, refugee families, and students within the community & region, plus clients at CSCL to access schooling and courses, as well as unique cases such as those visually impaired to ensure all can access learning materials.
This award goes to a business that is a practicing inclusive employer. From policies and procedures to diversity initiatives this business demonstrates a commitment to identifying and employing diverse individuals and engaging them in an inclusive workplace. An employer that looks beyond traditional recruitment and retention strategies in order to support the development of their staff.
BUSINESS TO BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARD
Presented to: Artistic Media Productions
AMP offers custom media creation in all forms of video, photo, audio and graphics. Jordan and his team have serviced a variety of high-profile clients such as CTV, CBC, Canfor, Fortis, Rotary International, and more. Their pride lies in their contributions to local initiatives and non profits. “By helping those helping others we see positive local change and that is really important to us.” A few non-profits to mention would be the East Kootenay Foundation for Health, Cranbrook Rotary and the Kootenay Symphony.
The Business to Business Excellence award recognizes excellence in the business to business service industry. Working with other businesses, and recognizing their needs, the recipient demonstrates a consistent adherence to the highest quality service and support for their clients. The recipient has demonstrably optimized business processes to drive higher levels of operational performance, customer satisfaction and loyalty.
CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD
Presented to: M&M Food Market
Since 2016 M&M Food market has been operating in Cranbrook as a specialty Grocery store selling high quality frozen food. Instead of a loss, the pandemic brought more new customers, that have evolved into weekly shoppers. The shelves at M&M are always stocked – and staff often greet each customer by name, knowing exactly where to locate what they are looking for. The team at M&M Food Market believe every customer deserves to have exceptional service, whether in store, curbside, or home delivery. They are confident in their products inside & out, ensuring they can accommodate all dietary needs.
The Customer Service Excellence award will be presented tonight to a Cranbrook company that embraces the concept that outstanding customer service is critical to the success of their business. The recipient’s business is dedicated to continually striving to exceed customer expectations. They have an ingrained culture through all levels of their organization built around the customer experience.
AGE FRIENDLY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD
Presented to: Pharmasave
A part of Cranbrook’s History, a pharmacy has been in this downtown location since the late 1800’s! Now a full-service Pharmacy with a full-service Medical Equipment Centre serving our community and its most vulnerable. The Pharmasave team offers over-the-phone service to make sure that customers feel immediately that someone is listening and wants to assist them. Offering free delivery, personal shopping, and in-store carry-out, Pharmasave ensures their customers have access to everything they need to live a healthy happy life!
The Age Friendly Business Award is presented to a business with dedicated commitment and business practices that best serve older adults in Cranbrook. Criteria includes accessibility, customer comfort and communication.
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD
Presented to: Sweet Gestures Chocolate Shoppe
It’s all in the name! Sweet Gestures Chocolate Shoppe has been in business for 20 years, providing Cranbrook with one-of-a-kind chocolates, personalized customer service and a unique, local experience. In support of the local landscape and visitor experience, the ladies of Sweet Gestures created a Cranbrook Book Box featuring a local photographer’s image of the towering Fisher Peak. Another embrace of community is a gift pack that includes the fare of many local business to give the buyer (or recipient) a full taste of Cranbrook!
The Business of the Year, 1-15 employees award will be presented to a business that has been established in Cranbrook for more than three years. This well-rounded recipient is regarded as an industry leader with a strong reputation for their business successes. The recipient demonstrates a high degree of professionalism and performance in key measures of business. The recipient’s business shows a substantiated business history exhibiting sustainable growth over numerous business cycles.
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD
Presented to: The Heid Out Restaurant & Fisher Peak Brewing Co.
The Heid Out has created an atmosphere to support their staff & customers like they are family. Employing 4 Red Seal chefs and several apprentices to not only provide customers with handcrafted cuisine, but to also offer support for their staff’s future. They involve all employees in weekly group sessions to strategize collaboratively in the business’ present & future. Flexible schedules are offered to all employees to prioritize their families, educational pursuits, plus extracurricular activities. Always involved locally, The Heid Out have provided Christmas Turkey dinner in January to the less fortunate for 20 years, gave hundreds of frozen meals to the Salvation Army during the pandemic while also donating a meal for every one purchased by a community member for charity. A short list of other community engagement includes donation of partial proceeds of their Radler to the Wildhorse Cycling Club, annual support to KEYSA, Key City Theatre, Cranbrook Community Theatre, Rotary, Gran Fondo and many other community organizations.
The Business of the Year, 16 plus employees award will be presented to a Cranbrook business that has been established for more than three years. The well-rounded recipient is regarded as an industry leader with a strong reputation for their business success. The recipient demonstrates a high degree of professionalism and performance in key measures of business. The recipient business shows a substantiated business history exhibiting sustainable growth over numerous business cycles.
NEW BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD
Presented to: Twisted Peaks Frozen Yogurt
Success against all odds, opening and operating a business amidst a pandemic is no small feat! Twisted Peaks aspires to serve the best frozen yogurt possible; making sure their selection is the healthiest, best quality, and has flavors that speak for themselves. They want their customers to feel valued and welcomed by greeting them when they come in the door and try to be as helpful and knowledgeable as possible. Twisted Peaks Frozen Yogurt has brought an inviting energy to downtown Cranbrook, a place for friends, family, and smiles.
The New Business of the Year is awarded to a business established in the last 3 years that is considered a rising leader in their sector. The recipient has demonstrated outstanding sustainable business practices, is financially sustainable and potentially scalable. The business is being managed with a robust planning process and is able to materially differentiate itself from its competition.
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Presented to: Two Birds Deli | Marina Stropky & Maraih Tarasoff
Two Birds Deli is a counter-style, healthy grab and go restaurant. These young gals opened a business in a troubling time… Facing constant restriction changes, supply chain shortages, and increased costs; The Two Birds Deli have adapted by offering a rotating deli menu, take-out only service, and space for local merchant product sales. They offer daily updates online to help customers make healthy & unique lunch choices during busy workdays. In the future, the Two Birds are looking to introduce more seating and tables, offer a more extensive catering menu for larger and exclusive events, and to bring more retail products including both grocery and grab and go items. They dream of extending their hours, offering sharing plates, and perhaps even a patio!
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes an outstanding entrepreneur, age 40 and under, that has distinguished themselves by building their own business or as part of the decision making management team of an existing business. This award pays tribute to an outstanding young entrepreneur who has distinguished themselves not only by their success in business, but also by their creativity, innovative spirit, and community involvement.
BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD
Presented to: Heidi Romich
Heidi has operated businesses in Cranbrook for 23 years. Heidi’s Restaurant has become both: The Heid Out Restaurant, & Fisher Peak Brewing Company. Heidi and her team are community-focused and support local in every sense of the word: Purchasing from local farms & food producers, being engaged with downtown revitalization, support and involvement with local non-profits, employing and training several apprentices from COTR, donating proceeds to local charities, and so much more. Heidi was also chosen in 2019 as Cranbrook’s Citizen of the year.
The Business Person of the Year award goes to an individual displaying outstanding leadership and vision in the Cranbrook business community. The recipient’s business has been operating for at least five years and has succeeded through innovation, risk taking and a commitment to the community. The recipient serves as a positive role model and mentor for other business people and exemplifies community leadership and dedication.