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The Readers Choice Hall of Fame

Some of the names of winners you’re reading in this year's Readers Choice Awards might seem familiar to you. And you’re right.
IN BUSINESS – The St. Albert Costco opened at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.
St. Albert Costco has won more Readers Choice Awards than any other business in town in the past six years.

Some of the names of winners you’re reading in this year's Readers Choice Awards might seem familiar to you.

And you’re right. Many Readers Choice businesses are fan favourites for several years running in their categories – some in several categories.

Curious to see who? You're in luck. Turns out our new publisher is a bit of a data nerd and he crunched the numbers for us.

For 2024, this year’s most-decorated business is Central Social Hall, with five first-place finishes, including Beer Selection (Restaurant/Bar), Chicken Wings, Patio Dining, Pub/Lounge and Wine List (Restaurant/Bar)

Four more businesses won Readers Choice awards in three categories each. One Bite Technologies won for Cell Phone Sales/Repair, Customer Service Experience and Electronics Store, The Cajun House won for Fine Dining, Gluten-Free Dining and Lunch Spot. Tealicious Blend won for Dining on a Budget, Ice Cream/Treat and Sandwich/Submarine Shop, while Costco won for Gas Station, Grocery/Market and Liquor Store.

Long-Time Leaders

Looking back over the past six years, more than 235 local businesses have been recognized by the readers of the Gazette with a total of 533 awards.

Topping the list is Costco St. Albert, which has been named the top business 14 times in five different categories—three times for Best Tire Shop, six times for Best Gas Station, three times for Best Liquor Store, once for Best Grocery/Market, and once for Best Cell Phone Sales/Repair.

Second on the all-time list is Jack’s Burger Shack, with 11 wins in three different categories, including Burger Joint, Food Truck and Sub/Sandwich Shop.

Hot on their heels are The Cajun House and Central Social Hall with 10 wins apiece across a wide field of food and beverage categories. Cajun House has won honours in Fine Dining, Customer Service Experience, Gluten-Free Dining, Seafood and Lunch Spot, while Central Social Hall has won Best Server and Best Bartender in past years in addition to the awards mentioned earlier.

AMA rounds out the top five biggest winners in recent history with nine awards in the Insurance, Travel Agency and Driving School categories.

Category Kings

There are eight businesses in all of St. Albert that have run the table for the past six straight years in a Readers Choice category. They are:

Bossio Painting & Decorating (Best Commercial/Residential Painter)

• Costco St. Albert (Best Gas Station)

DanceCo Ltd. (Best Dance Studio)

Grandin Bakery (Best Bakery)

• Jack’s Burger Shack (Best Burger Joint)

Maloney Elkassem Chiropractic (Best Chiropractic Clinic)

Seasons Gift Shop (Best Gifts)

Toast Breakfast and Lunch (Best Breakfast)

Ten more businesses have active streaks of four years in their categories, while several categories had multi-year winners whose streaks came to an end in 2024. Will there be new entries into the Five-Timers Club next year? (Will we need jackets?) We’ll have to see when next year’s nominations open.

Tim Shoults

About the Author: Tim Shoults

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