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Local businesses win big at Business Excellence Awards

May 10, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brock Weir

The humble potato – and the people behind them – took home top honours Monday night at the 2019 South Simcoe Business Excellence Awards.

Beattie’s Distillery, which has made New Tecumseth a destination with their spirits derived from their signature root vegetables, received the Business Excellence Award, with additional local businesses picking up the spoils across the board.

The Alliston-based distillery currently crafts potato vodka, the only spirit of its kind distilled in Ontario.

Known for its creamy, buttery taste cut with a slight citrus aroma, Beattie’s has received rave reviews for their product and have since expanded their line to include a lower spirit vodka based on sweet potatoes.

A more recent addition to their lineup is a poitin, which they describe as a “potato moonshine” aged in American white oak barrels with a medium char for three months, giving it a burnt oak scent and a smooth finish.

Beattie’s has long been in the potato business, growing crops for the manufacturing of potato chips. Due to the exacting standards in the chip industry, however, the company was looking for ways to use potatoes that weren’t quite aesthetically perfect.

Boiled down, the distillers say it was “a method of using the waste to create a new product.”

Innovation was the name of the game at this year’s Business Excellence Awards, which was hosted in Innisfil.

Now in its twenty-second year, the awards recognized excellence in a number of sectors.

Sheldon Creek Dairy in Adjala-Tosorontio, took home the Agricultural Award, while Circle Theatre and the New Tecumseth Optometry Clinic were two of three businesses recognized with Customer Service Awards alongside Innisfil Chiropractic.

Tara Andrews of Bradford- West Gwillimbury was recognized with the Youth Entrepreneur Award, while the Community Excellence Award was handed to Innisfil’s Applewood Dental, with an Honourable Mention in this category going to the Alliston Home Hardware Building Centre.

Bringing home two prizes was local entrepreneur Carol Austin.

Her business, Concession Road Mercantile, was awarded The New Business Award while Ms. Austin herself was recognized as South Simcoe’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Concession Road was founded just over a year ago, specializing in unique cards, gifts and Canadiana.

Ms. Austin told The Times earlier this year that she moved from Toronto to Loretto and decided to develop a business venture close to home – deciding upon establishing a “modern general store.”

Some of the items you’ll find at Concession Road Mercantile include beer glasses made from recycled beer bottles, handcrafted wood charcuterie boards, rustic style blankets and pillows, hiking trail books, local organic honey, and much more.

“I would say though that over the past few months, the store has evolved so that most people now refer to it simply as a ‘gift store’. Last Christmas I had many local people come in and do just about all of their Christmas shopping in one stop. On most Saturdays, I have people rushing in to pick up a last-minute gift and card. People often tell me how happy they are to know they can count on finding something unique right in town. That always makes me so happy to hear,” Austin told The Times.

With files from Wendy Gabrek



         


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