Retail/Service, Tourism and Rookie of the Year nominees

The following are nominees for Retail/Service, Tourism and Rookie with comments from friends.

The following are nominees for Retail/Service, Tourism and Rookie with comments from friends.

Small Business Week is upon us next week (Oct. 14 – 20). As in years past the Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual “Of the Year” Awards Evening and Banquet. This year’s event will take place on Friday evening, Oct. 19, at the Wells Gray Convention Centre.

One nominee from each category listed below will the successful and deemed the winner for 2012. The following list is by category with a few short comments for each nominee.

Tourism Business:

K&A Gateway Grill

Kalen and Amanda Jones always go above and beyond to ensure you have an enjoyable meal. They treat their staff with respect, and like part of their family.

K&A Gateway Grill is also #1 in the Clearwater area on the “Trip Advisory” website. I believe that this is evidence of their true commitment to the very best customer service and their pride in living the North Thompson Valley.

The food is delicious and they are always ready to create your favorite dish just the way you like it! These two young business people are charming, polite and accommodating to everyone.


O’Bryan’s Café & Catering

O’Bryan’s Cafe is the place to find your favourite sandwich, exceptionally delicious soups, yummy homemade cookies and bars and milkshakes made the way they were in the 50’s!

O’Bryan’s is the meeting place for families, tourists, friends and colleagues with a 50’s ambiance that is like a ‘walk back in time.’ The atmosphere is warm and welcoming and will lift anyone’s spirits!

Brian and wife Lee are a great team – always ready with a smile and excellent service!


Strawberry Moose    Sharon Chaytor and her staff all provide amazing customer service as well as super amazing coffee and snacks. Friendly environment – you are always made to feel welcome!


Wells Gray Air

The knowledge and expertise of Fritz and Ursula Schaer are second to none. On the flight over Wells Gray Park, Fritz shares this knowledge freely explaining various land and water formations.

Ursula tracks the whereabouts of the plane at all times so we know there is always someone aware of our progress.

This year WG Air introduced an evening flight – an excellent change to see the beauty of the park and businesses in the area in a ‘different light.’


Wells Gray Inn

Wells Gray Inn owners Bonnie and Jeff Tourand go beyond all business in their ongoing support of local business.

They give generously to nonprofits. Their staff gives excellent service! They support various programs in the community efficiently and anonymously and professionally.

Bonnie and her staff always strive to accommodate family gatherings and the entire community with an approachable attitude.

They also have hosted the Wednesday night Poker Tournaments, which bring locals and visitors alike together for a taste of excitement and anticipation to the game!

Retail/Service Business

Doug Braaten Enterprises

Doug is a great landscaper, so friendly in the community with excellent rates/prices and really good service!


Chasing Summer Outfitters/Glen Pickering

Glen Pickering does excellent work! He fixed my car, is on call 24/7 and is very friendly with the community.

Glen offers excellent customer service to the public. Good prices – good work!


Clear Water Dollar Emporium

Their place is neatly set out with lots of bargains and many things to choose from! Friendly staff. Always helpful and willing to order items not readily available in the store or area. Parking lot is always neat and clean.


Northwest Lawn and Garden / Mark Bissaillon

Mark turned our poor-looking lawn and garden into a beautiful thing. Dozens of people have commented on the improvement; Mark deserves all the credit!

Mark has been responsible for beautifying many parts of our community.


Rooted by the River Nursery

Rooted by the River Nursery fills a need in our community that has long been unaddressed. Bold and fearless are characteristics that fit Jeff Lamond well; a man who could see the potential for a business in a less than attractive spot, utilizing land that has been unused for years and being patient while our community learned what he has to offer. His integrity and attitude are impressive.

The values that Jeff and Andrea appear to live by are setting an example for all of us. Most importantly he is taking action on environmentalist ideals such as mixed agriculture and sustainable land use.

Rookie of the Year

Betty Handy

Colonel Sanders started his Kentucky Fried Chicken business at the age of 65. Betty Handy started her Handy Pies Co. Ltd. in Clearwater when she was old enough to be Colonel Sander’s mother!

She gets my nod as a new business.


Raft River Store

Jim and his staff have “taken a chance” and have reopened the store near Raft River School.

A store with a gas/diesel outlet is very helpful so that people don’t have to travel across town to purchase these items when they live on this side of the highway.

We love that the Raft River Store features Blackwell Dairy Products and hope they will be able to feature other local products.