Volume 10 Week 10

Friday, Feb. 23


Posted May 1

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(Posted 6:30 p.m., Nov. 20)
Local businesses fêted at People's Choice Awards
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Unlimited Fitness owner Rob Gardiner holds the award for Business Person of the Year he received at the Orléans Chamber of Commerce People's Choice Business Awards on Wednesday night. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Orléans Client Service Centre was aptly named Wednesday night as representatives from some of the most successful small businesses in the far east end gathered for the Orléans Chamber of Commerce People's Choice Business Awards.

Topping the list was Unlimited Fitness owner Rob Gardiner who received the award for Business Person of the Year.

Gardiner took over the Orléans gym and fitness centre five years ago and has gradually turned it into one the most successful independently-owned fitness centres in the far east end.

The secret to their success has been their ability to understand their clientele and give them what they need. They've also re-invested a substantial portion of their revenue into new equip.m.ent and have managed to stay ahead of the pack when it comes to recent trends. They were one of the first gyms to take a more holistic approach to fitness by providing their clients with access to a licensed nutritionist and more recently they've incorporated a weight loss clinic that combines personal training with specialized diet guides.

As for the secret to building a successful business, the recipe is simple, says Gardiner, hard work.

"There is no secret, really. You just have to be willing to work hard. I'm always working. Even when I'm at home I'm still working," said Gardiner after receiving his award.

Twenty-eight-year-old Eric St. Cyr received the award for Young Business Person of the Year. The owner of Eric's Academy of Music started dreaming of opening his own business when he was still in college. Through hard work and preseverance he accomplished his dream last year.

"I didn't start my business to shake hands or win awards. I did it to share the joy of music," St. Cyr said in accepting his award. "This means a lot to someone my age starting a business and it means a lot to my staff."

Cedar Valley Restaurant in the Orleans Garden Shopping Centre won their fourth People's Choice Business Award, this time earning the prize for Restaurant of the Year. Previously they won for New Business of the Year in 2003 and Restaurant of the Year in 2005 and Family Business of the Year in 2007.
The restaurant is owned and operated by Fadi and Marcelle Nasr.

This year's Family Business of the Year award went to Gymboree Play and Music, while the Service Business of the Year award went to Healing Hands Message Therapy and owner Bryan Castilla who was one of the finalist for Busniess Person of the Year.

Orléans Adventure Boot Camp owner Adrian Delorey added to the Young Business Person of the Year award he won last year by taking home the Customer Service Excellence Award.

"Last year's award was great, but this award is more reflective of the business were in and the people I have working for me. Trina Alps, our dietician, and Jason Mailhot, our trainer, have both gone over and above in working with our clients and helping to make the business a success," said Delorey.

Other recipients included Antara Financial owner Judith Cane for Corporate Citizen of the Year; Quilty Pleasures for Retail Business of the Year; the PilonHamilton Real Estate Team for New Buiness of the Year; and Vantage Dental Clinic owner Dr. Ben Chang for Professional of the Year.

Former Orleans Chamber of Commerce president and Coldwell Banker Interactive Realty owner/broker Diane Boucher received a special Chamber Champion Award for her years of dedication to the organization and her commitment to the community as a former president of the National Capital Region Habitat for Humanity.

"What an honour," Boucher said after coming to the stage to accept the award from current Chamber president Marc Thibault. "When Marc was speaking I thought he was takling about at least 50 other people in this room. You know I was very fortunate to have been be able to work with some incredible people and we were all part of the Chamber's success. It was not just one person."

A complete list of the finalists in the various categories is as follows...

Restaurant of the Year

- Boston Pizza
- Broadway Bar & Grill, Portobello
- Cedar Valley Restaurant

Family Business of the Year

- Capital Sound and Light
- Gymboree Play and Music
- Ottawa Jeet Kune Do

Service Business of the Year

- Christiane's Bridal Shop
- Healing Hands Massage Therapy
- SURE Print & Graphics

New Business of the Year

- Cuisine & Passion
- Kettleman's Bagel Co. Orleans
- PilonHamilton Real Estate Team

Community Support / Non-Profit Organization of the Year

-La Coccinelle
- Orleans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre
- Orleans Young Players Theatre School

Professional of the Year

- Dr. Ben Chang, Vantage Dental Clinic
- Mark Hunter, Hunter Chiropractic
- Paul Rushforth, Keller Williams Ottawa Realty

Customer Service Excellence Award

- Lucy De Andrade, Comfort Inn
- Adrien Delorey, Orleans Adventure Boot Camp
- Erin Zintel, Grand & Toy

Retail Business of the Year

- Cheddar Et Cetera
- Quilty Pleasures
- Supperworks

Corporate Citizen of the Year

- Judith Cane, Antara Financial
- Andre Lacroix, Lacroix Source for Sports
- Proulx Sugarbush & Berry Farm

Young Business Person of the Year

- Juan-Miguel Cinanni, Dominic's Academy of Music
- Dr. Steve Pelletier, In Balance Chiropractic
- Eric St. Cyr, Eric's Academy of Music

Business Person of the Year

- Rob Gardiner, Unlimited Fitness
- Bryan Castilla, Healing Hands Massage Therapy
- Marc Miron, Cuisine & Passion

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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