From spring cleanups to technical advancements, Aurora’s business community is varied and thriving in challenging times.
Businesses large and small were honoured by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce on June 10 during their annual Business Excellence Awards, an event which was retooled and relaunched in a virtual format after missing 2020 due to the height of the global pandemic.
2021 Honourees include
Jaot Toor, Speedpro Imaging GTA North
Home-Based Business Award
Gardens of Joy (Nominees: Beveridge Marketing, Kangaroo Club Newmarket-Aurora)
Green Business Award
Replenish General Store (Nominees: Axiom Group Inc., Windfall Ecology Centre)
Community Influencer/Leadership Award
Apple Self Storage and Suites (Nominees: Aurora Restaurants & Food News Group, Coconut Village Nails Spa, The Partnership Network)
STEM Minds (Nominees: Giamed, WeCleanCOVID-19)
Tie – Jana Corporation; Thermogenics Boilers Inc. (Nominee: Piramal Pharma Solutions)
Warner Roofing (Nominees: Samantha Gowda-Singh, Desjardins Insurance; The North Dance Company)
Tie – Tina’s Grill, Yellow Brick House (Nominee: Romy’s Bar & Grill)
Businesses find their roots in different ways. For Cindy and Deb of Gardens of Joy, their path to success – and the Home-Based Business Award – began when their sons went into Grade 9.
“We were looking for something new to do and we grew very organically,” said Cindy, not one to shy away from a good gardening pun.
Added Deb: “We are a garden-maintenance company, so we can help you with your spring cleanups, any planting you want done, and we can re-arrange what you have to make it look a little better and to put things in a better place.”
Gardens of Joy prides itself on its client relationship, many of whom come back year after year and refer friends.
“That is the highest compliment for us,” said Deb. “We have great staff, they follow our core values with integrity, energetic performance; they’re hard-workers. I think we lead by example and we have a great team. We were just so excited to be nominated. That was just the high point for us. Winning was not something we expected.”
Also sharing in the honours for smaller businesses were Warner Roofing and principal Andrew Warner who got involved in the business 15 years ago after starting as a labourer.
“I love working outside and I love that it is a finished product,” said the winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award. “What sets us apart would probably be the attention to detail.”
From these small businesses employing a few, honours also went to larger employers in the Aurora Community, ones that might be large in scale but still have small-community heart.
Based on Industrial Parkway South, Apple Self Storage not only provides storage units but flexible office space, all the while lending a helping hand to community organizations ranging from The Able Network, to Southlake Regional Health Centre, to Doane House Hospice.
“We actively engage all of our 125 employees to get involved in their local communities,” said Apple’s David Allen. “Community engagement has just been a part of the fabric of our business. Because we’re involved so locally in the communities we operate in, it is really important to us that we give back to those communities and just be a good corporate citizen. We wouldn’t have a business if it wasn’t for the communities we operate within. It is a way for us to say thank you back to the communities by staying involved and giving back.”
This is a philosophy that was shared by JANA Corporation as they accepted their award for International Business, an honour that was shared with Thermogenics.
JANA, which works in the field of gas pipelines, said they have “dedicated ourselves over the last 22 years to investing in our community through our time and our charitable donations.”
“It is our people who are the source of our success and it is very exciting to share our mission and our passion for our mission,” they said. “We’re very humbled by this honour.”
Thermogenics, a manufacturer of coil tube steam boilers, says what sets them apart is their “passion towards each other, quality, safety, and satisfying our clients.”
“It is very inspiring the dynamic nature of our customer base, whether it be supporting hospital infrastructure and others on the frontlines taking care of people right up to manufacturers of specialized products such as medicine and food,” said Vice President Paul Langham. “We are a silent partner in so many products that are on the market and it really feels like we’re making a difference in those innovative products.
“We’re really proud of employing and contributing to the Aurora community.”
Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran