Monday, June 24, 2024

Meaford’s Chamber of Commerce Remaining Involved in the Community

The Meaford Chamber of Commerce has been promoting both local businesses and the community for over 125 years, as the fortunes of two are intertwined.

Over a year ago ‘The Wave’ broke onto the scene. Made up of a small group of highly energized, focused, and creative businesswomen, they were determined to attract greater foot traffic into the Meaford downtown core.

The Wave enhanced business success by organizing a series of very successful public events. Among the events were Summerfest, including the Poutine-off and the Doors of Meaford, plus Trick or Treat Trail, and a unique updated scavenger hunt, Goose Chase. To enable The Wave to do what they do best, but with better access to additional resources and support, the Meaford Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that the Wave is now operating under its umbrella.

We look forward to diving into the new Wave adventures for 2023 in Meaford!” said the Chamber.

The Meaford Chamber of Commerce Community Awards have celebrated Meaford excellence for 25 years. The Chamber of Commerce has been delivering recognition to businesses for a quarter century by organizing and presenting the Community Awards. Every year, members of the community nominate their favourite Meaford-based businesses, community organizations, and citizens in eight categories. The nominees, and the reasons why they are favoured, are collated and reviewed by a selection committee made up of non-Chamber community members.

This year 63 nominations were received for 45 nominees, making the task of choosing winners particularly difficult for the arms-length Selection Committee. We, at the Chamber of Commerce, gratefully recognize that the Community Awards are sponsored by other local businesses who know the importance of celebrating one another.

The 2023 Award Winners are:

The Farmer of the Year Award was given to someone who exhibited the following characteristics: leadership, volunteerism, youth participation, community service, and special achievements. It is with pleasure that the award sponsor, Robert’s Farm Equipment, and the Meaford Chamber of Commerce present the award to Good Family Farms.

Good Family Farms is home to heritage-bred pigs, cattle, and chickens, all of which are Certified Organic and Regeneratively raised. Their meat and eggs are sold directly off the farm in their farm store as well as online. Their sustainability practices are the future and they lead the area in eco-policies.

The Most Improved Business Award is presented to an existing business that has significantly expanded and/or improved or enhanced their business premises, making the community more attractive. It is with pleasure that award sponsor, Broker Link, and the Meaford Chamber of Commerce present the Most Improved Business Award to McGinty’s Cafe.

McGinty’s Café has become a fixture in downtown Meaford, serving a range of sandwiches on home-baked breads, wraps, ciabattas, alongside in-season salads and their full-service espresso bar, cold drinks, ice cream, and homemade sweets. They are constantly changing and upgrading their café and service to meet changing tastes and styles.

The Tourism Award is presented to a business with a commitment to local tourism through a welcoming attitude, awareness, and promotion of local attractions. Award Sponsor Bayview Escarpment Fine Furniture and the Meaford Chamber of Commerce are pleased to present the Tourism Award to Hills Meaford.

Located in the former quarters of Hill’s Dairy in Meaford, this historic building has been converted into four rental suites (Hike, Bike, Ski, and Paddle), with an adventure shop on the ground floor. Committed to supporting other local businesses, Hills has partnered to provide beautiful original artwork in all the rooms and to source their all natural, plastic-free soaps and cleaning supplies. Hills also hosted a number of promotional events in 2022, bringing more tourists in to experience Meaford.

The Customer Service Award is presented to a business that consistently goes out of its way to provide superior service to its customers. This category had again received the most nominations. It is with pleasure that Award Sponsor Knights’ Home Building Centre and the Meaford Chamber of Commerce and present the Customer Service Award to Simply Unique Flowers and Gifts.

Simply Unique’s Nancy and her team have always been so helpful in all areas. They always greet with a smile and are very enthused about what’s going on in all their customers’ lives. You can always be guaranteed that what you order is fresh and exactly what you wanted.

The Agribusiness Award is presented to an agribusiness that has invested in sustainable farming practices and has successfully developed innovative products, processes, and marketing channels. Award Sponsor Bruce Street Technologies Ltd. and the Meaford Chamber of Commerce proudly present the Agribusiness Award to Higginson Farms.

Ethan and Julie operate a small herd of Angus influenced cattle, following the best grazing practices to offer their cattle the most nutritious feed and to capture the most CO2 into the soil to improve the environment. They are so passionate about farming and their beef business and it shows in everything they do.

The Special Merit Award is presented to a volunteer organization or service club for exceptional effort over the past year that has enhanced the quality of life within our community. It is with pleasure that the award sponsor, Municipality of Meaford, and the Meaford Chamber of Commerce present the Special Merit Award to the Rotary Club Meaford.

The Rotary Club of Meaford has been serving our community for over 85 years, supporting in so many ways but particularly those in need. Most recently, they opened the Thrift Shop in the Church of Nazarene, filling a critical gap left by the closure of the Midas Mart.

The Peter Francis Memorial Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated exemplary volunteer leadership over many years and who has made a significant contribution to community development in the Municipality of Meaford. This individual must exhibit strong leadership through example. This is a lifetime achievement award. It was with pleasure that the Meaford Chamber of Commerce presented the Peter Francis Memorial Award to McKenzie Fleming.

Born and raised in Meaford, Mack was the first captain of the Knights of Meaford. More importantly, he is the person responsible for starting the Hockey Hits Cancer hockey tournament, now entering its 8th year and having raised over $30,000. People come from all around to play in this tournament and it has received the attention of a number of major national sponsors, spotlighting our community.

The Business Owner of the Year award is presented to a Business Owner who has made an outstanding contribution to the Municipality of Meaford. This person demonstrates leadership within a business, dedication to the betterment of the whole community, good citizenship, care for the environment, and sound employee relations. Award Sponsor The Cooperators and the Meaford Chamber of Commerce are proud to present this award to Grace Morin.

Aside from running her own business, Little Wren Hair Studio, Grace is one of the founding members of The Wave, a collaboration of like-minded businesswomen who have injected so much excitement, enthusiasm, and economic development into the downtown core.

The Meaford Chamber of Commerce congratulates all of our nominees; you are what make our Municipality a great place to live. Thank you to those who took the time to submit a nomination as this is how we keep our community growing. The lucky winners of the two $100 Nominator Prizes were Jes Kenyon and Merry McAfee,” said the Chamber.

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