The best of the Semiahmoo Peninsula business community gathered together last week – in-person for the first time in two years – to honour and “shine a light” on local businesses, organizations and individuals at the Business Excellence Awards.
Held last Thursday (May 26) at Hazelmere Golf and Tennis Club in South Surrey, the event – hosted by the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce – marked not only the chamber’s 85th anniversary, but also, according to the organization, served as “a celebration of resilience” after more than two years of COVID-19-related restrictions and other related hurdles.
The winners included Hillcrest Bakery & Deli, which won ‘Business of the Year – Small (1-10 employees)’, with the chamber noting the longtime White Rock business will mark its 50th year in operation this year; White Rock’s Cosmos Greek Restaurant took home the top prize for ‘Business of the Year – Medium (11-25 employees)’, with judges noting that the 45-year-old restaurant “is deeply ingrained in the community” through, not just its longevity, but also through its various charitable endeavours.
Hardbite Chips – Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd. took home the award for ‘Business of the Year – Large (26-plus employees)’, with the chamber remarks noting that the company “supports the food bank and local charities” in addition to being a rapidly growing kettle-fried chip brand.
The ‘New Business of the Year’ award was given to Ricardo’s Kandy Korner, which specializes in imported candies, snacks and drinks from around the world. “They pride themselves in getting to know their regulars and listening to the community about what products they would like to see at the store and have improved the store to their needs,” the chamber’s website notes.
The ‘Business of the Year – Supporter of the Arts’ award went to Blue Frog Studios, which opened in 2006 and has grown to become “one of the largest commercial recording and video production studios in Western Canada” while also being involved in many community events.
Innovative Fitness was named ‘Business of the Year – Community Builder’ with the chamber noting “their coaches actively support and promote their client’s causes, and champion causes within the local community.”
“Semiahmoo House Society provides quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in Surrey and White Rock,” it continued.
Three different ‘Business Leader of the Year’ awards were also handed out. In the corporate category, Tony Baena of Parc Retirement Living was the winner, and was feted for the company being “active supporters of the many organizations and events, including the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, local arts community, Concerts for the Pier and much more.”
In the self-owned business leader category, Janine MacLean of Seriously Good Catering was named the winner, with organizers noting “Janine is passionate about food and the community, so much so that she has offered free hot lunches through various programs with White Rock Rotary, Uptown Church, Peace Portal Alliance Church, and more.”
In the ‘Business Leader – under 40’ category, Sean O’Leary of Live Yoga was the winner, with the chamber pointing out the studio “supports local charities, events, and fundraising, especially through their participation in wellness initiatives at both Peace Arch Hospital and Surrey Memorial Hospital and campaigns with the White Rock BIA and the chamber.”