After an extended promotional campaign, where the community was invited to submit picks for their favorite Newtown businesses in four different categories, the Newtown Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Newtown announced the 2014 Business of the Year award winners during a recent celebration at the Inn at Newtown.
Supporters were permitted vote as often as they desired for a specific business, and organizers encouraged contenders to set up voting stations at their locations to encourage clients and customers to vote when they were on premises.
All nominees received honorable mentions, with the top three vote-getters in each category being invited to the awards dinner and ceremony on March 31, when Chamber President Tim Haas and Newtown Rotary official Brian Amey handled the Business of the Year presentations.
The first award of the evening was for New Business of the Year. This honor was designated for businesses operating in Newtown for one year or less, that demonstrated good business practices while delivering superior products and/or services.
Thirty-six companies were nominated, with Biscotti Etc, LLC and owner Stephanie Schneiderman, capturing the award. Biscotti Etc touts itself as Newtown’s source for everything biscotti. With more than ten varieties, Ms Schneiderman’s little white and purple boxes of biscotti biscuits have become a welcome addition to pantries and dessert tables across the community.
Foundry Kitchen and Tavern and owner Chris Bruno, along with Queen Street Gifts & Treats and its owners, Patrick Kearney and Mary Wilson, were also honored as the runners-up top vote getters.
Next came the award for Longevity, presented to a business that has been operating in Newtown for ten years or more while similarly demonstrating good business practices, and delivering superior products and/or services.
Forty-five companies were nominated, with Dental Associates of Connecticut taking the top prize. Dental Associates of Connecticut has been providing state-of-the-art dental care to families in western Connecticut since 1971.
Julie Allen Bridals, founded by Julia Allen, now owned and managed by Mrs Allen’s daughter Melanie Allen Mattegat, and granddaughter Lauren Morehouse, the salon’s co-manager and marketing director, was honored as a runner-up, along with My Place Pizza & Restaurant and company principals Louise, John and Mark Tambascio.
The award for Philanthropy goes to a Newtown business that consistently shows exemplary philanthropic support of the community through financial donations or volunteerism. In all, 58 companies were nominated in this category, with Dental Associates of Connecticut taking the honor.
The final Business of the Year Award for Overall Achievement went to a Newtown business that demonstrates good stewardship in the community while demonstrating outstanding business practices and excellence in customer service.
Among the 56 companies nominated in this category, the winner was owners Angelo and Renia Marini and their Sal e Pepe Contemporary Italian Bistro. While Sal e Pepe began as a northern Italian restaurant, it gradually evolved into a “contemporary Italian bistro” with more global offerings that reflects Mr Marini’s cosmopolitan upbringing, his love of diverse cuisines and passion for travel.
Butcher’s Best and owner Steve Ford, along with Dental Associates of Connecticut, took the runner-up honors in the Overall Achievement category.
During the presentations, Mr Haas also reminded attendees about the upcoming Destination Newtown business showcase which is set for May 7 at Rock Ridge Country Club. The public portion of the event runs from 4 to 7 pm, with a VIP networking reception and keynote presentation by Nick Ortner, CEO of The Tapping Solution, and New York Times best-selling author.