The Norfolk County Fair and Horse show left the Simcoe and District Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony with an unprecedented two awards.
The fair was awarded the Outstanding Community Service Award and the Inclusive Employer Award. No other business has ever taken two awards in the same year.
“We’re so very honoured to be recognized by the community, and the business community,” said NCF GM George Araujo. “We’ve been thrilled to be part of the program with NACL with the inclusive award. We’ve been part of this community since 1840 so we know our way around, but it’s always wonderful to know that what we do makes a difference and people have noticed.”
Eleven-year-old Alexis Miller Cluckie, founder of Da Bomb bath products, was surprised to learn she was accepting the Young Entrepreneur Award. The born-to-be salesperson used her time at the microphone for her acceptance speech to tell those in attendance that they could go to her table for a business card if they wanted to purchase any of her products.
“It’s extremely awesome,” said Miller Cluckie. “My aunt makes bath and body products. She inspired me to do the same.”
Miller Cluckie was a member of the Norfolk County Summer Startup program and thanked the county for the grant that allowed her to start her business.
Citizen of the Year Jean Montgomery was just thankful that she is able to help other people.
“I’m really humbled because there are so many people here in Norfolk that do so much, and it was truly an honour,” said Montgomery. “Norfolk is a great place to be, I truly thank God that I can contribute, and that I have the opportunity.”
Montgomery’s husband tried listing everything she has been part of throughout the community in the video that played before her acceptance, but said he probably missed quite a few because there were so many.
The volunteer has been accepted into the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition for her extensive work in basketball throughout the community.
Dr. Steven Malo and Dr. Ian Malo accepted the Outstanding Business Achievement Award in the retail and service division. Steven said he was nearly ready to retire before his son came on board, and credited Ian for rejuvenating the business when he joined the practice.
Robin Reitz of Ritzy Cakes and Eatery was given the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Reitz became teary-eyed during her speech as she thanked her immediate family, and her staff, who she also refers to as her family.
The Van Groningen family received the Outstanding Business Achievement Award in the agriculture, industrial, and manufacturing division for their work at VG Meats. The family is involved in the entire process of the production from raising the cattle to butchering and everything in between.
Representatives from the businesses and sponsors gathered at the Greens at Renton on Oct. 17 for a dinner and awards ceremony to celebrate the outstanding businesses in Norfolk County.