Ten district businesses were saluted last Wednesday evening at La Place Rendez-Vous here as the Rainy River Future Development Corp. unveiled its annual Customer Service Award recipients.
This year’s winners (in alphabetical order) were Cloverleaf Grocery (Emo), Corner Closet (Emo), Curves For Women, Fort Frances General Supply, Green’s Countrywide Furniture, McTaggarts, NCDS, Northridge Funeral Home (Emo), Northwoods Gallery & Gifts, and Warehouse One.
Earning honourable mention this year were Canada Safeway, Canadian Tire, Global Gaming, Howarth’s Home Centre, Lidkea’s Optometry Clinic, Mario’s Jewellers, Norlund Oil (Emo), Scrap-a-Bit (Emo), Skills and Employment Source, and the Super 8 Motel.
“This is the fifth year [for the awards] and obviously it was a success,” said George Emes of Edward Jones, who presented the plaques during the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s “Business After Hours” deck party.
“We had 35 businesses registered and our mystery shoppers were really shopping hard,” he noted.
“The true idea behind the concept is to seek out businesses that provide great customer service on a daily basis. This is how we all get repeat customers,” he stressed.
“Customer service is important, and it’s really noticeable when you walk into a business and you’re treated well,” said Bill Gushulak, owner of Fort Frances General Supply.
“We’re just really proud to be part of this large group of nominees and we’re pleased to be here,” he added.
The margin between the winners and runners-up in the customer service challenge was very close this year.
“We really appreciate that,” said Emes. “That means that the businesses are working very hard on their customer service.”
More than 80 people were on hand for the awards presentation, which was held in conjunction with the Chamber’s deck party.
“Thanks so much for coming out,” said Jenni Condon, morning host for B•93fm, one of the sponsors of the event. “I remember last time we had such an awesome time here and I think we do sponsor it every year.
“Great meal, great weather, couldn’t ask for more, so thank you everyone for coming out and supporting the Chamber tonight,” she said.
Rick Cooper, manager of Bell Alliant here, attended because he believes it’s important to sponsor these types of networking events.
“This event helps bring out the local people here, and we have sales people here as well so we can offer our services to show the Chamber of Commerce what we have to offer,” he noted.
Jeff Wright, 32, of Wright Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation on Scott Street, attended the deck party with his wife, Heather.
“The first two years I won the big gift baskets, so I had to come to defend my title,” he joked.