More than 240 people gathered at Creston & District Community Complex on Saturday to celebrate Creston businesses and organizations in eight categories.
The evening included a catered dinner, silent auction and live entertainment, but the spotlight eventually fell on the winners, nominated by readers who filled out ballots printed in the Advance.
Leading the way in the first annual Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce event was Save-On-Foods, which won two awards. It came out on top in the Chamber Business Excellence and Best Customer Service categories.
Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery and Century 21 Veitch Realty were the other finalists in an award for “A business that has been in operation for more than 5 years and has consistently offered outstanding service and/or product to its customers and displays a strong commitment to community involvement. A business that contributes to the social, recreational, cultural, and overall well-being of the community.”
Pealow’s Your Independent Grocer, Sue’s Clotheslines and Swift Internet were runners up in the Best Customer Service category.
Pealow’s, owned and operated by Brian and Julia Pealow, has about 130 employees, and got the voters’ nod for Employer of the Year, defeating Canfor and J.H. Huscroft Ltd., the Creston Valley’s two sawmills.
Family Practice Associates Clinic on 16th Avenue North was named Best in Professional Services. Mann & Vander Heide, Notaries Public, and Western Financial Group were the other finalists.
In the Best in Hospitality and Tourism, Jimmy’s Pub & Grill won over Bahamas Travel and Casey’s Community House.
Swift Internet and owner Kitt Santano were voter favourites in the Best in Trades and Services category, winning over Fig’s Plumbing and Robert Construction.
Creston Museum, managed by Tammy Hardwick, came out on top among the nominees for Best in Arts and Culture, edging the Creston Valley Arts Council, Footlighters Theatre Society and Kunze Gallery.
“We would like to thank the sponsors and all those who made the effort to vote in these first of what will become an annual awards event,” Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce manager Vern Gorham said on Monday.