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Best of Colchester brings smiles, excitement to local business owners


TRURO - Colchester County's business owners were out for a fun-filled night at the Best Western Glengarry on Thursday for the annual Best of Colchester Awards.

Smiles and laughs were all over the room as 21 of the top businesses in the area were honoured with awards.

If there was an award for "most excited recipients," the ladies of Enchanted Forest may have gone home with two awards. In business since 2009, the parenting boutique moved to a storefront on Commercial Street two years ago.

On Thursday, they were named "Colchester's friendliest place to visit."

"It's so cool that people think of you that way, because you don't know. You don't think about it, you don't hear about it," said owner Andrea Munroe.

To be a winner in that specific category was a great reinforcement for their business model, Munroe said.

We want to be a community of support for new parents - a place where people can feel comfortable and not feel they have to buy things, but come in for a cup of tea and we'll teach you how to breastfeed or whatever you need."

After running the business from her home, with a showroom set up in her dining room, Munroe made the decision to go bigger. She picked up a three-year lease on Commercial Street and took out a major bank loan. The next day, she learned she was pregnant.

"It was a little scary at first, but then I thought, ‘OK, well I'm going to have a demo baby.'"

Three days after giving birth, she was back to work with her newborn daughter in tow.

"It's a great social outlet for us as well because we just get to chat with cool moms all day," she said. "It's kind of like a play group and a store."

Enchanted Forest was one of several newer businesses in the county to pick up wins on Thursday night. Taking home a win in the ‘Best Burger' category was HubGrub, the gourmet burger joint on Queen Street. Owner Trevor MacDonald and his wife, Mi Young, were on hand to accept the award.

"It's great," MacDonald said. "(Through) the year-and-a-half we've been at this, and this award, it's nice to see the community is behind us."

The couple opened the restaurant after having success with a pair of similar ventures in Korea. After seeing a trend in "classing up a burger," they moved back to Nova Scotia and opened their newest restaurant.

HubGrub went head-to-head with Bistro 22 for the award. The two restaurants also had a Burger Battle throughout the winter, with parts of proceeds going towards the Slate Youth Centre and Truro Homeless Outreach Society.

The annual event was done bigger than ever this year, with a sold-out conference room at the Best Western Glengarry and double the amount of votes from previous years.

"That shows great enthusiasm and we hope that propels us forward to better growth for everyone," said Alan Johnson, CEO of Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event.

Chamber vice-president Andrew Lake said the success was due in part to the overhaul of the awards. They renamed each category and changed the ceremony from its usual June date to February.

"It's like anything, things get a little stale or dated, so you try to re-think it and go outside the box," Lake said.

Winners

Best Retail Location to Spend $500 - Elegant Steps

Best Place to Get Your Sweat On - Zumba & Boot Camp w/Crystal Mills

Colchester's Best Watering Hole - Nook and Cranny

Colchester's Best Buns - Fraser's Pastry Shop

Colchester's Best Donair - Sam's Pizza

Best Reason to Visit West Colchester - Masstown Market

Best Reason to Visit South Colchester - Brookfield Bakery

Best Reason to Visit North Colchester - Sugar Moon Farm

Colchester's Best Dressed - Truro police

Friendliest Place to Visit - Enchanted Forest

Colchester's Best Home-Based Business - Belgravia Bed & Breakfast

Colchester's Best Family Outing - Victoria Park

Colchester's Best Burger - HubGrub

Colchester's Best Drive-Thru - McDonald's on Robie

Colchester's Best at Turning Your from a Beast to a Beauty - Wink Day Spa

Colchester's Best Business Innovator - Pearl & Daisy Natural Soap Company

Colchester's Best Community Leader - Paul Clark & Greg Johnston of Inglis Jewellers

Colchester's Best Not for Profit Organization - Colchester SPCA

Smiles and laughs were all over the room as 21 of the top businesses in the area were honoured with awards.

If there was an award for "most excited recipients," the ladies of Enchanted Forest may have gone home with two awards. In business since 2009, the parenting boutique moved to a storefront on Commercial Street two years ago.

On Thursday, they were named "Colchester's friendliest place to visit."

"It's so cool that people think of you that way, because you don't know. You don't think about it, you don't hear about it," said owner Andrea Munroe.

To be a winner in that specific category was a great reinforcement for their business model, Munroe said.

We want to be a community of support for new parents - a place where people can feel comfortable and not feel they have to buy things, but come in for a cup of tea and we'll teach you how to breastfeed or whatever you need."

After running the business from her home, with a showroom set up in her dining room, Munroe made the decision to go bigger. She picked up a three-year lease on Commercial Street and took out a major bank loan. The next day, she learned she was pregnant.

"It was a little scary at first, but then I thought, ‘OK, well I'm going to have a demo baby.'"

Three days after giving birth, she was back to work with her newborn daughter in tow.

"It's a great social outlet for us as well because we just get to chat with cool moms all day," she said. "It's kind of like a play group and a store."

Enchanted Forest was one of several newer businesses in the county to pick up wins on Thursday night. Taking home a win in the ‘Best Burger' category was HubGrub, the gourmet burger joint on Queen Street. Owner Trevor MacDonald and his wife, Mi Young, were on hand to accept the award.

"It's great," MacDonald said. "(Through) the year-and-a-half we've been at this, and this award, it's nice to see the community is behind us."

The couple opened the restaurant after having success with a pair of similar ventures in Korea. After seeing a trend in "classing up a burger," they moved back to Nova Scotia and opened their newest restaurant.

HubGrub went head-to-head with Bistro 22 for the award. The two restaurants also had a Burger Battle throughout the winter, with parts of proceeds going towards the Slate Youth Centre and Truro Homeless Outreach Society.

The annual event was done bigger than ever this year, with a sold-out conference room at the Best Western Glengarry and double the amount of votes from previous years.

"That shows great enthusiasm and we hope that propels us forward to better growth for everyone," said Alan Johnson, CEO of Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event.

Chamber vice-president Andrew Lake said the success was due in part to the overhaul of the awards. They renamed each category and changed the ceremony from its usual June date to February.

"It's like anything, things get a little stale or dated, so you try to re-think it and go outside the box," Lake said.

Winners

Best Retail Location to Spend $500 - Elegant Steps

Best Place to Get Your Sweat On - Zumba & Boot Camp w/Crystal Mills

Colchester's Best Watering Hole - Nook and Cranny

Colchester's Best Buns - Fraser's Pastry Shop

Colchester's Best Donair - Sam's Pizza

Best Reason to Visit West Colchester - Masstown Market

Best Reason to Visit South Colchester - Brookfield Bakery

Best Reason to Visit North Colchester - Sugar Moon Farm

Colchester's Best Dressed - Truro police

Friendliest Place to Visit - Enchanted Forest

Colchester's Best Home-Based Business - Belgravia Bed & Breakfast

Colchester's Best Family Outing - Victoria Park

Colchester's Best Burger - HubGrub

Colchester's Best Drive-Thru - McDonald's on Robie

Colchester's Best at Turning Your from a Beast to a Beauty - Wink Day Spa

Colchester's Best Business Innovator - Pearl & Daisy Natural Soap Company

Colchester's Best Community Leader - Paul Clark & Greg Johnston of Inglis Jewellers

Colchester's Best Not for Profit Organization - Colchester SPCA

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