The dogs at K9 Awareness animal day care and training facility are in for an extra treat today, after owner Kaytie Stack walked off the stage with the Small Business Award of Distinction Thursday night.
Stack received the award at the Small Business Awards of Distinction gala presented by the St. Albert & District Chamber of Commerce. The annual event celebrates the work and commitment of local businesses.
Stack, who shed a few tears of joy, said she just feels honoured to have been chosen.
"It makes you feel like all the hard work is worthwhile and giving a 100 per cent, a 110 per cent, pays off and it's so rewarding," she said. "If you are going to do it, do it in an extraordinary way."
Stack said her business offers an exclusive and unique approach, providing both day care services and treadmill training for the dogs. She added her staff works closely with customers and cares about good relationships.
Asked how she plans to celebrate the award, she said she would give the dogs champagne if she could.
"Maybe we just throw some confetti around," she said.
Riverside Honda & Ski-Doo left with three awards, the Pillar of Business Award, the Marketing Award of Distinction and the Youth Work Experience and Apprenticeship Award.
The Pillar of Business Award recognizes a business that chose to stay and grow in St. Albert.
Art Perrot, owner of Riverside Honda & Ski-Doo said the company has been in business since the 1960s and services customers across Canada and the far north.
"It's unusual for a business that started this small to have grown so much," he said. "But we looked after our customers and they can always expect to get what they ordered."
Former Riverside Honda employee, Colby Lindmark, received the Youth Work Experience and Apprenticeship Award. This award goes to a Grade 12 high school student in the work experience or apprenticeship program. Lindmark was nominated by his Bellerose Composite High School teacher and said it was nice to be recognized.
"I feel pretty good," he said.
Landrex Developers received the Chair's Award of Distinction, another award that recognizes a business that chose to stay in St. Albert.
The award is the first in St. Albert for Landrex and came unexpectedly, said president Larry Andrews. He added the company was committed to working in the city and had done a lot for its growth.
"We've done developments for a long time and we pretty much developed 90 per cent of the northeast of St. Albert," he said. "We've seen a lot of growth here."
Among other awards presented Thursday was the Ignite Award of Distinction, awarded to Cloud Nine Pajamas. This new award is given to a small business that is in its first three years of business, and has demonstrated itself as the most dynamic start-up business in the St. Albert community.
Owners and sisters Robyn Noel and Miranda Zeckel said they did not expect to win but said they always try to be involved in community events that support local businesses.
"It's such a close-knit community so we are proud and happy to be a part of it," said Noel. "We hope that we can be here for many years and support the downtown area and shopping local and that everybody can get their pajamas."
Sunshine Promotions received the Business to Business Award of Distinction. This award goes to an organization that provides service to businesses and adapts to customer needs.
CEO Donna Radke and owner Rhonda King said the company tries to help other businesses by marketing and branding them, and helping them with community events and sales.
"We try to think outside the box and anticipate what will benefit them, not what will benefit me," said Radke. "So we look at everything as developing clients and relationships, and not as order and sales."
After being nominated for three years in a row, D'Arcy's Meat Market owner Kyle Iseke finally received the Young Entrepreneur Award of Distinction. This award goes to an individual who has shown outstanding achievement in the development and operation of their business.
Iseke's wife Danielle, who accepted the award on behalf of her absent husband, said she was very proud of him.
"We just hope, because this is the young entrepreneur award, that maybe we can in the future win some of the other awards," she said.
Nominated for its commitment to and delivery of exceptional customer service, Trail Tire took home the Outstanding Customer Service Award of Distinction.
Owner Vlad Buk and manager Cesar Teves said they understand the need for professional service and taking the stress out of their customers' lives.
"Most people when they come in, when their vehicle breaks down or needs servicing, are stressed out," said Teves. "So myself and Cesar make sure we can help in a proper, timely fashion and get the vehicle back on the road."
This year's business awards saw a record 38 nominations, said chamber chair Lynn Carolei.
She expects the reason is in the growing number of chamber members and businesses in the community – the chamber now counts almost 875 members – which also grows the interest in local awards and events in the community.
"As we go through the years this awards night is something that is great for your business, it helps to boost your recognition, even just as a nominee," she said. "There are tremendously wonderful business that were nominated and some really great winners."