Business Excellence Awards 2019

Outstanding Customer Service

Recognizes an individual or business that consistently shows “above and beyond” level of service to their customers while providing their product or service.

Darren McLaughlin of Napa Elmsdale

Four years ago Darren McLaughlin applied at NAPA Elmsdale, with no experience in sales. He has always strived to be the best in customer service. Four years later, at NAPA Elmsdale it’s what makes his job the best. He will be forever grateful to Keith and Vicki Sullivan for taking a chance on him. Customer appreciation is how they succeed. Being nominated for Outstanding Customer Service of the Year makes Darren work even harder. Through the community and social media, he is known as “NAPA Darren”. He treats everyone that walks through the door like family.

Award Presented by:


Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion

Recognizes the ability to demonstrate and be accountable for an ongoing committment to diversity and inclusivity while equaly representing a culturally competent workforce and the community they serve.


Sobeys Elmsdale opened in the community in April 1982. They are most proud of the diversity and inclusion within their workplace and how regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation or abilities, they are all able to come together to create the best possible shopping experience for their customers. They believe in order to fully serve their customers they must proudly represent all individuals within our local communities. Being part of our local community is important, whether it is volunteering staff time at local events such as Tidefest, the annual Christmas Parade or simply offering store space for local organizations to fundraise. This has been a core value of Sobeys for over 110 years, and they are proud to carry on this tradition in East Hants.

Award Presented by:



Non-Profit of the Year

Recognizes an active non-profit located within East Hants & Districts which demonstrates a contribution to the overall quality of life within the community.


The Hants East Assisting Refugee Team, known as the HEART Society was formed in 2016 after HEART president, Leno Ribahi, put out a call to action on social media after the very public death of Alan Kurdi. The response was immediate and overwhelming and, as a result HEART Society was formed with the objective of helping refugees to come to the East Hants. With the support of the local business community and citizens of East Hants, HEART Society was able to sponsor their first family, the Barhos, in September 2017. February 19, 2019 thrust HEART Society into the national and international spotlight after the seven Barho children died in a house fire. HEART continues to support Kawthar and Ebraheim as they struggle to recover in the aftermath of the fire. HEART Society continues to work to support refugee families and are hoping to see their second family arrive shortly.

Award Presented by:



Agricultural Business of the Year

Recognizes an active business located or operating in the East Hants & Districts that runs a successful farm or agricultural related operation promoting agriculture.


Withrow’s Farm Market is a proud family owned and operated business in East Hants. For several years They have been active members of our agricultural community. Their farm Market business was established in the late 70’s by their parents, who at the time grew several vegetables for the retail and wholesale markets on the Rawdon farm. In addition to the vegetables, raising cattle was also a large part of their business. Over time, their Farm market businesses in Belnan and Mount Uniacke have expanded to include garden centers, a deli, and giftware. After the BSE crisis in 2003, they opened the Meat Shop and offer Rocky Knoll Farm beef to customers. Over the years, Withrows has continued to support other East Hants and Nova Scotia Farm businesses by purchasing products and making them available through the Farm Market, Meat Shop and Garden Centers.

Award Presented by:



Export Business of the Year

Recognized an active business in the East Hants & Districts with a minimum of 40% of customers, partners or revenues coming from markets outside of Nova Scotia.


Ledwidge Lumber is a family-owned sawmill in Enfield manufacturing lumber for the global marketplace. Celebrating 76 years in business with 80 employees and 3 generations of family employment, they take pride in providing a healthy and safe work environment for their loyal and productive workforce. Ledwidge Lumber produces over 70 million board feet of lumber per year, exporting 50% to the U.S., and the rest currently to Atlantic Canada. Wood chips, bark, shavings, and sawdust are sold to make paper products, energy, landscaping, and animal bedding. With a history of exporting lumber to the United Kingdom, Israel, and all along the Eastern Seaboard, Ledwidge Lumber meets global challenges for exporting time and again.

Award Presented by:



Young Entrepreneur

Recognizes an individual under the age of 35 who has an active business located within the East Hants & Districts and shows a proven dedication, resilience, initiative & innovation.


Jeff Stone is the founder of Stone’s Plumbing & Heating Ltd. Jeff has been plumbing for over 10 years and has successfully managed his own business since April 2017. Being a business owner was always an aspiration for Jeff, after he left St. Mary’s University School of Business to follow a career path in the plumbing trade. He is proud to be able to offer professional plumbing services in the community he grew up in and still calls home. Jeff strives for efficiency and customer satisfaction and will always show up to your door with a smile.

Award Presented by:



Tom Parker Chamber Member of the Year

Recognizes an outstanding East Hants & Districts Chamber member for his or her hard work and dedication to the business community through volunteer work with regard to recreation and community improvements. * This is not a People’s Choice award. The recipient was chosen by the EHCC board of directors.


Michael Blois, currently the 1st Vice President of the EHCC, is an 8th generation Farmer on Courthouse Hill Farm in Gore, East Hants. Michael works for Cavendish Agri-Services in Truro as a Regional Sales Manager and continues to work on the family farm where he leads the farms agri-tourism and farmers market blueberry sales. In 2016, he joined the Chamber as a board member and took on Chair of the Events Committee. Since then, the Chamber has taken on many new monthly events with a mission to develop new business and grow our community.

Award Presented by:



New Business of the Year

Recognizes an active business located or operating in the East Hants & Districts, having been in business less than two years as of August 31st, 2019. Considerations include company growth, introducing new products & services, sales & marketing initiatives and community service. This business would also show great potential for future success.


The East Hants Animal Hospital opened its doors on April 1, 2019 to a warm welcome from the community. A full-service small animal veterinary hospital located in Elmsdale providing a variety of medical, surgical, and dental services, medications, pet foods, and products for dogs, cats, exotics and even chickens! Above all else, their two main focuses are community and customer service. They strive every day to offer exceptional medical care and to provide customer service that meets all of their clients’ diverse needs. Their team feels that they are not only meeting an important need within the community, but also creating new opportunities through building relationships with clients. Everyone is welcome to visit and take a tour of the facility, and learn more about the East Hants Animal Hospital family.

Award Presented by:



Micro Business of the Year

Recognizing an active business located or operating in the East Hants & Districts that is independently owned and operatord with a total number of employees not exceeding 2 and can not be an expansion of an existing business, name change, franchise or new location of an existing company.


Owners Daniel and Amelia Heim started East Coast Detailing in 2015 with a mobile detailing trailer. Over the years they’ve grown into their new building in Elmsdale, that now includes a complete retail showroom for truck and car accessories. They offer a wide range of services from automotive and marine detailing to accessories installations. This year they also became a Powered by CeramicPro certified shop offering premium paint protection. East Coast Detailing, strives for top quality services with exceptional customer service to the communities of East Hants and beyond.

Award Presented by:



Business of the Year 2-6 Employees

Recognizes an active business in the East Hants & Districts who is a current member of the EHCC and does not exceed a total of 6 employees. Considerations include overall excellence in business, such as innovation, stability & resilience, support for community events and high quality customer service.


LilyPond Vintage, located in Elmsdale, believes that when opting for vintage furniture you are not only preserving a piece of history, you are also doing your bit for the environment by re-using and re-cycling. Since opening their doors in 2017, their speciality is making old things new again and seeing the potential in outdated unwanted furniture. They take pride in offering painting workshops where owner Shirley teaches others how to affordably re-love their old furniture, develop your own personal style and choose colours. LilyPond Vintage brings new exclusive products to our community, including Canadian made, Eco-friendly paints. LilyPond Vintage has become a destination location for many clients from the Atlantic provinces and encourages visitors to support other wonderful small business in the East Hants. They are the proud co-hosts of the 1st Outdoor Vintage Market in Enfield.

Award Presented by:



Business of the Year 6+ Employees

Recognizes an active business in the East Hants & Districts who is a current member of the EHCC and has more than 6 employees. Considerations include overall excellence in business, such as innovation, stability & resilience, support for community events and high quality customer service.


Strides Health & Fitness Club is a full service, co-ed fitness facility located in the heart of Elmsdale. Currently employing 33 staff and continuing to grow each year. Owned and operated by life-long resident of the Elmsdale area, Leslie Wilber-Campbell, had the vision of opening a state-of-the-art facility that was professional, safe, clean and modern. Strides was established in 2006 and expanded, doubling its size in 2014. At the same time, Strides Spa and Wellness Center was born, offering exceptional services all under one roof. This September, Strides was the first fitness facility in Atlantic Canada to open a High Intensity Interval training room by Matrix, called MX4. The room is geared for group functional training that will provide sports teams, youth, and seniors motivation and a social solution to their exercise needs. Strides is committed to offering Cutting edge products and services to our community of East Hants and surrounding areas.

Award Presented by:


Prior Years’ Winners

Member Services


VOTING IS NOW OPEN!**Outstanding Customer Service Award****Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award**These 2 award categories are now open for public vote until August 31st. To cast your votes pleae visit: ... See MoreSee Less
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Join the only free, opt-in, business intelligence community in Atlantic Canada.Atlantic IMPRESSIONS is growing community of business leaders and workers from every sector and business type in the region.They explore and provide insight about the region’s economic priorities and help identify opportunities for Atlantic Canadian businesses and their employees.Join today: ... See MoreSee Less
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Join us for some networking fun andstrategies for success in Mount Uniacke!.For the fourth and final session will be Wednesday August 17th at 9am at the office of Lindsay A. Lamb CPA Inc. 16 James Boyle Drive, Unit 2, Mount Uniacke .Missed the first sessions? No worries!We will work on creating an "elevator speech", how to talk about our business, and how to mingle in a group..If you're from the Corridor area we would like to arrange car pooling from Enfield, so please send an email to ... See MoreSee Less
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Asrar Haq-Montford - DirectorAsrar grew up in beautiful Cape Breton Island from 2002-2013. After graduating from Sydney Academy in 2013, Asrar moved to Halifax to attend Dalhousie University. In 2019, Asrar graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Anthropology with First Class Honours. Asrar has been employed by Dalhousie University since 2015. A passion for showcasing beautiful Nova Scotia & a dream to live on the water led Asrar & his partner to Burntcoat, N.S. In August 2021, they left the big city life to take over Shangri-La Cottages, a luxury cottage business on the Cobequid Bay (Bay of Fundy). Asrar looks forward to serving the East Hants business community through his involvement with the East Hants Chamber of Commerce. ... See MoreSee Less
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