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October 26 2021 Calgary Chamber

Meet the winners: 2021 Calgary Small Business Awards

On October 22, 2021 the Calgary Chamber announced the winners of the 2021 Calgary Small Business Awards. From hundreds of applications the judging panel narrowed it down to 24 finalists across 8 awards, with each award looking at a different area of a business. These awards highlight the best of our small business community. Congrats to all the finalists and winners. Meet the winners below.

connectFirst Small Business of the Year: Eight Ounce Coffee 

Eight Ounce Coffee is a company of coffee people passionate about specialty coffee and all the fun gear and equipment that go with it.

Started in 2011, mostly selling AeroPress and KeepCups to an emerging crowd of specialty coffee baristas and home coffee enthusiasts. As the market grew, they expanded their line of products considerably.

They soon realized that it was difficult for Canadian cafes and roasters to bring in the high end specialty coffee brands that were so easy to get in larger countries. Buying smaller amounts and paying for freight and import made it not worthwhile for them. By bringing in large volume amounts of great quality coffee gear and taking care of the import and logistics, Eight Ounce Coffee made it possible to get the best coffee brands into Canadian hands.

Now one of the largest specialty coffee equipment distributor in Canada, selling to almost four thousand cafes, roasters, hotels, kitchen and lifestyle stores across the country and in America ,they so distribute to some of the biggest and best names in specialty coffee around the world. Eight Ounce Coffee operates out of a twenty thousand square foot warehouse in Calgary, with team members in Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.

Helcim Emerging Growth Award: TradeSpace 

TradeSpace is the first on-demand warehouse in Canada with nearly 100 members and growing. They support a wide array of businesses including light manufacturing, e-commerce, and trades. Whether you’re embarking on a new business venture or looking to expand, TradeSpace offers solutions for businesses of all sizes.

With the rise of small to medium sized businesses, ambitious entrepreneurs are looking for more. More than just a garage packed with tools, materials, and products. More than a desk in a spare room or basement. More than feeling alone or disconnected from your team. And more than the constant visits to the post office to ensure your orders ship out in time. TradeSpace offers a one-stop shop with warehouse storage space and working areas for light manufacturing, office, meeting rooms, and fulfillment services to take care of your e-commerce needs.

TD Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award: Bottomline 

BottomLine is a full scale digital marketing agency that works with businesses of all sizes across Canada. BottomLine’s approach to each project revolves around solid, results-oriented strategies. They believe that truly compelling marketing begins with research, and ends with ROI-maximizing tactics implemented by industry experts.

Their market research process digs deep to uncover clients’ true value, strengths, market position and ideal customers. Key findings from the research fuel the creation of an actionable marketing strategy, deliberately designed and executed by a team of strategists, researchers, and implementers.

Their collective skill and experience give businesses the freedom and insight they need to truly make an impact. BottomLine crafts extraordinary, results-based solutions so clients can get where they want to go faster and drive significant value in achieving their growth goals.

Surecall Community Champion Award: Hippo Hug 

Hippo Hug weighted blankets was founded in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, by Leslie Brooks in October 2011. Leslie saw an opportunity to combine her love of sewing with her passion for helping people. In late 2011 Leslie created a custom-made weighted sleep sack for a client with Autism who was seeking deep pressure at night. She saw the opportunity for a small business venture, and with the encouragement of her husband began the journey of entrepreneurship. Hippo Hug was born and as the business grew so did the impact of weighted blankets.

Hippo Hug has gone from a small home-based business that made 60 blankets in its first year to a full-fledged manufacturing operation, shipping blankets across Canada and the U.S. In 2016, Hippo Hug saw huge growth, completing over 500 blankets and moving into a manufacturing space. Their growth has been steady since moving and in 2018 they made nearly 1800.

Hippo Hug now has nine part-time employees and Leslie full-time at the helm. Everyone at Hippo Hug loves helping people find a Made in Canada solution. Many of the staff use a weighted blanket themselves and have first hand knowledge to share to help you find the right fit for your unique needs. They are committed to making sure a weighted blanket will work for you and finding the size and weight that will fit you best.

MNP Innovation Award: WaitWell 

WaitWell's mission is to eliminate physical lineups around the world. Businesses lose customers every day because 90% of people will go to a different location rather than stand in a queue. Because it's so much more expensive for organizations to attain new customers than to keep existing customers, this costs businesses money. WaitWell solves this problem by allowing people to use their mobile devices to join a virtual lineup and to keep informed about their position in line and estimated wait time. This means that they can use their wait time to work, do errands, or just relax. It also means that they never have to wonder "how much longer?". For organizations like the Calgary Stampede and NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology), this means better insight into the customer journey and powerful data to help with improving the customer experience, staff training, and operational efficiency.

CPA Alberta Social Entrepreneurship Award: Local Laundry 

Local Laundry started when founder, Connor, picked a fight with a laundry machine. He lost the fight, but had an a-ha moment in the scuffle: What if all our laundry was local? Like really, truly local? And from the ashes of that fight, Local Laundry rose. Today, they’re headquartered in Calgary and proudly Canadian, from the manufacturers and garments to the employees and customers. But the clothes are just the beginning: Our community is the heart of the Local Laundry story.

Servus People’s Choice Award: art&fact 

Art&fact is a medical aesthetics clinic led by a team of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeons. Their team has a keen eye for creating a treatment plan that addresses your concerns while working within your budget. They pride themselves on building relationships and ensuring patients feel comfortable by tailoring their approach to each specific individuals and understanding everyone's goals and standards of beauty are unique.

RBC Resilient Business Award: Alberta Food Tours 

Alberta Food Tours, Inc. operates in Calgary, Banff, Canmore and Edmonton, Alberta. They offer two Canadian signature experiences, are partnered with over 85 Alberta businesses and support many regenerative farms and farmers throughout the province.

With Alberta Food Tours you’ll eat, engage, and explore while supporting farmers who create healthy soil and food. Support local and learn about our food supply chain with Alberta Food Tours.