By MorinvilleNews.com Staff
Morinville – After winning Morinville Small Business of the Year two years running, The Flower Stop is now a finalist in the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction.
The local flower and gift shop is one of four finalists in the Small Business Award category, one of 10 award categories presented by the Alberta Chamber of Commerce. The small Business Award of Distinction is sponsored by the Chartered Accountants of Alberta and the Flower Stop will be in the running along with Cedar Ridge Quality Homes Ltd. of Lethbridge, My Filosophy Inc. of Edmonton and Pine Bungalows Ltd. of Jasper.
Flower Stop owner Char Parrent said she was shocked and overwhelmed when she heard she was in the running for the prestigious provincial award.
“When you consider it’s province wide, it’s a pretty big honour,” she said of being nominated. “I’m pretty excited about it, to say the least. I haven’t come down yet.”
But being nominated for the prestigious award should come as no surprise to Parrent and her staff. The business has previously won a Youth Friendly Award in 2008, Small Business of the Year in 2009 and in 2010 the Flower Stop won both a Service Excellence Award and Small Business of The Year Award.
Morinville and District Chamber of commerce president Sheldon Fingler was not overly surprised to hear the Flower Stop had been nominated.
“We’re extremely pleased to have Char nominated,” Fingler said. “It not only speaks volumes about her business, but it’s a great, great mark for our community as well.”
Fingler said he feels the Chamber is lucky to have businesses like the Flower Stop in Morinville, businesses that give back to the community.
“Any time a business does something more than just make money, they contribute to the community,” Fingler said. “That’s what Char does – bringing younger workers in, work experience, her involvement with the different organizations.
Parrent’s commitment to Morinville, particularly Morinville’s youth is something the business owner passionate about and it is that passion and commitment that earned her business the youth award in 2008.
“I truly believe and I’ve always believed that the youth of whatever community [you live in] is our future,” she said, adding she believes youth deserve the same respect as any other resident. “We’ve tried over the last four-and-a-half years that I’ve owned this business to employ as many students as I can because at some point somebody gave my kids a chance.”
Parrent said she runs her business with a “pay if forward” attitude and a commitment to providing excellent customer service, something she feels is important for local businesses to do.
“I think in small town Alberta, especially when you’re up against the big box stores, the one thing that we can provide better than anybody is that customer service, that kind of personal touch,” she said. “It’s important to pay back what you’ve got.”
In addition to being a finalist for the Small Business Award of Distinction, the Flower Stop also becomes eligible for the Premier’s Award of Distinction.
Winners will be announced at the River Cree Marriott Hotel and Casino Mar. 4 during the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction.