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Honoring our local businesses that demonstrate innovation & commitment to Thurston County

Congratulations to our winners!

New Business of the Year

Bittersweet Chocolates

Debbie Smith and Cindy Uhrich own and operate Bittersweet Chocolates in downtown Olympia, as well as an online store. They sell quality artisanal chocolates for customers looking for an affordable luxury item for themselves or as a gift.  Bittersweet chocolate uses local, natural organic ingredients and high quality fair trade chocolate to create artful masterpieces in their downtown shop.

 

 

Small Business of the Year

Eastside Big Tom

An Olympia institution since 1969, Eastside Big Tom does more than provide delicious burgers with their signature GOOP sauce to their customers. Owner Michal Fritsch believes that happy, well-paid staff makes happy well-fed customers. That is why he ensures that employees have flexible schedules that work with school attendance and he pays them starting above minimum wage with regular raises and other benefits like paid vacation.

 

Large Business of the Year

Callisons

Callisons is the leading supplier of mint oils and flavors in the world.  Founded in 1903, this family owned enterprise has continued to innovate and thrive by embracing new business opportunities and markets by responding to changing global supplies and shifting consumer demands. Based in Hawk’s Prairie, this local business is part of the global market with distribution centers in China and India.

 

Non-Profit Organization of the Year

GruB

With a goal to empower people to develop meaningful relationships, GruB seeks to be an agent for change within the community by serving youth, veterans and low-income households. Their school garden program model within the Olympia School District is now being mimicked by other school districts in the area.

 

And the nominees are….

New Business of the Year

MiSo

With two locations, one on Lacey Boulevard and one in Hawk’s Prairie, MiSo is looking to change the face of fast food in Thurston County and throughout America by offering a number of healthy options to their customers without sacrificing convenience or affordably.

Bittersweet Chocolates

Debbie Smith and Cindy Uhrich own and operate Bittersweet Chocolates in downtown Olympia, as well as an online store. They sell quality artisanal chocolates for customers looking for an affordable luxury item for themselves or as a gift.  Bittersweet chocolate uses local, natural organic ingredients and high quality fair trade chocolate to create artful masterpieces in their downtown shop.

The IN TEAM

Providing business to business networking to 200 small businesses throughout Thurston County, the IN TEAM helps build face to face relationships between business owners through a process they call “intentional networking,” which they feel provides a healthy foundation for growth and sustainability within the local business community.

 


Small Business of the Year

Bringing Back Brewing….and Cider Making!

With the number of local breweries rising in Thurston County, this nominee is actually several local brewers that all who are a part of bringing brewing back into Thurston County in innovative ways, all with deep commitments to their customers, their communities and their employees. Triceratops Brewing CompanyTart CideryWhitewood Cider Co. and Matchless Brewing are all a part of the local brewery revival.  Matchless Brewing is the first new brewery in Tumwater in over 100 years and has a commitment to the community that is reflected in their support of various non-profits and volunteer organizations throughout the area. Triceratops Brewing Company feels that their employees are their greatest asset and hopes to grow their company sustainably to provide for their three kids. Whitewood Cider Co. seeks to make high quality ciders with unique blending and flavor profiles that are much like fine wines. Tart Cidery continues to expand their reach throughout Washington, hoping to one day offer their dry flavorful cider throughout the U.S.

Eastside Big Tom

An Olympia institution since 1969, Eastside Big Tom does more than provide delicious burgers with their signature GOOP sauce to their customers. Owner Michal Fritsch believes that happy, well-paid staff makes happy well-fed customers. That is why he ensures that employees have flexible schedules that work with school attendance and he pays them starting above minimum wage with regular raises and other benefits like paid vacation.

Thomas Architecture Studios

The goal of Thomas Architecture Studios is not just to design buildings, but to take an active role in improving the community. They were selected for their innovative approach to urban design. With a commitment to the local community, they hope to create designs that the community can take pride in for years to come.

 


Large Business of the Year

Saint Martin’s University


The oldest educational institution in Thurston County is bringing innovation into Thurston County with projects like Off Planet Researchand support of the Lacey Makerspace. With a global reach they seek to empower individuals with education and cultivate an engaged, diverse, global and inclusive community.

Callisons

Callisons is the leading supplier of mint oils and flavors in the world.  Founded in 1903, this family owned enterprise has continued to innovate and thrive by embracing new business opportunities and markets by responding to changing global supplies and shifting consumer demands. Based in Hawk’s Prairie, this local business is part of the global market with distribution centers in China and India.

 


Non-Profit Organization of the Year

SideWalk

Their approach is simple: combining grass-roots engagement with evidence-driven practices, SideWalk is helping people get off the streets and into homes around Thurston County. With measurable results and a goal to eliminate homelessness, this volunteer driven organization has moved over a thousand people off the streets in the last five years.

GruB

With a goal to empower people to develop meaningful relationships, GruB seeks to be an agent for change within the community by serving youth, veterans and low-income households. Their school garden program model within the Olympia School District is now being mimicked by other school districts in the area.

 


 

Event Profile:
Since 1985, the annual Thurston EDC Business Awards Gala has honored local businesses and the important role they play in supporting the economic health of our region. The award categories are: new business, small business, non-profit, and large business. Nominations come from within the community, and winners are announced at the event. The 2018 event will also serve as our Annual Investor Dinner.
Target market:
This high-profile event draws approximately 200 – 250 business owners, decision makers and community leaders from all sectors of the business, non-profit and government community in Thurston County.

 

 

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Thank you to our 2018 Gala Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors

       

 

Silver Sponsors

                          

 

Bronze Sponsors

   

                       

Awards Sponsor

 

 

2017 Winners

 

Large Business of the Year: Olympia Federal Savings

 

Small Business of the Year: NorthAmericaTalk

 

Non-Profit of the Year: Capital Lake Fair

 

New Business of the Year: 222 Market