By Justin Aufdermauer
The annual Community Awards Banquet is just a few weeks away, and tickets are already selling fast. Every year we hear how much people enjoy the food, entertainment and wide array of auction items to bid on – but we all know that the real story is the award winners.
Our nominees started getting their announcements in the mail last week, so it’s finally safe to announce them here in the paper. Thank you to everyone who made a nomination- we had even more come in than last year and I think our Awards Committee definitely has their work cut out for them. Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominee stands out, which is what the Awards Committee uses to determine a winner for each category. I never envy the committee the task of selecting a winner, and as I introduce the nominees I will share some of the background that was submitted for each one:
For Business of the Year, the nominees are:
Blue Heron French Cheese Co.: For more than 40 years the Pastega family has been running Blue Heron French Cheese Co. and adding a personal touch to Tillamook County that leaves a positive impression with both visitors and residents. They provide everything from free samples, free overnight RV parking, a large Northwest wine selection, to unique gifts, plus they are known t0 treat their employees like family.
Stimson Lumber: Few businesses can say they’ve been around 162 years, but Stimson is one of them. They are committed to the environment through active management of more than 93,000 acres of land in Tillamook County and employee 120 people- many of whom actively serve in a variety of leadership roles throughout the community, such as the Tillamook Working Lands and Waters Cooperative, teaching classes at Tillamook Bay Community College and Tillamook High School, serving on the Fair Board, coaching sports, and so much more.
Zwald Transport, Inc.: Zwald Transport employs more than 30 people and has grown tremendously in the last three years. They were instrumental in starting the truck driving program at Tillamook Bay Community College – including providing an instructor, helping secure equipment, and marketing the program. They are a family-run business and want their employees to feel like part of the family.
For Small Business of the Year (10 employees or less) the nominees are:
Social House & Market Place: Located in the former Blue Moon Cafe, The Social House & Marketplace is owned and operated by three women who strive to give customers more than just a meal. By hosting unique vendors in their space, they are lifting up other small businesses and entrepreneurs, and they regularly offer fun, family-friendly events.
Salty Raven: One of the newer Second Street businesses, Salty Raven offers unique, Oregon- and Oregon Coast-based artwork on everything from t-shirts to patches to coffee mugs. Their studio is open regularly and they are actively involved in all kinds of community functions and events such as the Farmers Market, monthly Sip + Shop, and participate in the Tillamook Revitalization Association.
Werner Brewing Co.: In Tillamook, we love beer nearly as much as we love cheese. Werner Brewing Co. continues to bring new and trendy craft beer flavors to the Tillamook Coast, elevating our status as a food and beer lovers destination. Coupled with their new taproom/restaurant and generous community spirit, Werner Brewing Co. is making waves.
Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace: Downtown Tillamook has been benefiting from this wonderful vintage shop for five years now. With all kinds of one-of-a-kind treasures, a friendly staff and more-often-than-not some kind of delicious treat to snack on while you shop, Madeline’s is so committed to its customers that they set up a temporary location all summer while their building was being renovated. And they never forget to participate in downtown events such as Sip + Shop, Cork & Brew and more.
Kristy Lombard Pottery: Our newest downtown business is the result of Kristy Lombard taking a chance and moving her studio from her garage to a storefront, where she regularly creates stunning pottery while people can shop for things like butter dishes, decorative pieces, coffee cups and more. Her art is helping bring high-end and quality customer goods to downtown.
Tune in next week as we announce the nominees for Program of the Year and Development Project of the Year. And be sure to watch our Facebook page for more exciting announcements.