When looking at the range of businesses highlighted at the recent Lennox & Addington Economic Development Awards, you can really see the diversity of our economic base. Each award category offered a glimpse of vastly different types of activity that makes up a successful L&A economy.
The Tourism Operation of the Year category had three contrasting businesses vying for the award. Lennox Community Theatre in Selby is, as the name suggests, a very active theatre group that has helped satisfy the cultural needs of region since the 1930′s. Loyalist Country Club in Bath saw 32,000 rounds of golf played in 2010, making it one of the busiest courses in Eastern Ontario. The winner of the award, Addison’s Restaurant in Northbrook, provides an essential service to the high volume of tourists that visit the region.
Burt’s Greenhouses in Odessa took home Agricultural Operation of the Year honours. The business prides itself in being a progressive operation that implements the latest industry developments into their operations, winning a pair of Regional Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence in the past 3 years. Finalists in the category were Mountain Road Simmentals in Tamworth, a 40 head pure-bred Simmental farm, and Poplar Dell Farms in Amherst Island, a 5th generation Holstein dairy farm. Poplar Dell received Master Breeder Status in 2010, only the 4th L&A County farm to receive this national honour since 1929.
The Small Firm of the Year category showed similar diversity. 88.7 myFM won the award. Since hitting the airwaves in 2007, the radio station has provided Lennox & Addington businesses a new and exciting way to reach their customers. Salmon River Marketing, a group of businesses owned by Richard Saxe in Tamworth, was a finalist in this category. In addition to a successful community magazine titled “The Scoop”, Salmon River Marketing opened a salmon smokehouse, creates a value-added and sought after salmon product that is made here in L&A County. Also nominated was McFarland Construction, a very successful business based in Amherstview. They specialize in building quality homes for good value that are leading edge environmentally.
The Manufacturer of the Year for 2010 was Wilton Cheese Factory, renowned for producing fine cheese in the Lennox & Addington area for over 100 years. In addition to a successful rebrand, Wilton Cheese is currently installing a new wastewater system that will be completed in early 2011. Finalists were Goodyear Napanee, widely known as one of the most technologically advanced tire plants in the world, and Strathcona Paper Company, manufacturers of high quality 100% recycled clay coated boxboard. In 2010, Strathcona Paper Company received a very prestigious Innovative Product of the Year award from Pulp & Paper International for its product “Green Choice 100”.