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Osoyoos Home Hardware receives top honour at 2014 SOCC Business Excellence Awards
A commitment to outstanding customer service has earned the Sologuk family a loyal and dedicated group of shoppers at Osoyoos Home Hardware for the past 29 years.
It also earned them the prestigious title of Best Business (Seven employees or more) at the annual South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards, held last Friday evening at the Watermark Beach Resort.
Owners Larry and Frances Sologuk, who purchased the Home Hardware franchise on Main Street back in 1985, weren’t on hand to pick up the prestigious honour as Frances was attending a buyers’ convention in Las Vegas.
More than 80 business owners, their spouses and staff members gathered for the annual business excellence awards from across the South Okanagan.
However, their son David, who has worked at the store for more than a decade and is a manager, proudly accepted the award on behalf of his parents and the large group of longtime employees who attended the ceremony.
Sologuk said main reasons Osoyoos Home Hardware has become so popular and enjoyed so much success over the past three decades is a commitment to customer service and hiring good people who share that commitment.
“Mom and Dad have always been about taking care of their customers,” said their proud son following the awards ceremony. “If you treat your customers well, they will inevitably come back because they enjoyed the shopping experience.
“If my mom and dad were here, I have no doubt they would give credit to our staff for making the business such a success. We could not have enjoyed as much success as we have without our fantastic staff. We have several employees who have been here for 20 and 25 years and you don’t normally see that in a small-town hardware store. That shows how much people enjoy working in the store and how much they like their jobs.”
Sologuk graciously congratulated the other nominees in the category, which included JoJo’s Café from Osoyoos, Sun Valley Dental in Osoyoos and the Osoyoos Times/Oliver Chronicle newspapers.
“I would like to thank the chamber of commerce and the other nominees for their great success over the past year,” he said.
Osoyoos Home Hardware has continued to grow and expand the products and services it offers to customers because that is what longtime customers have asked for, he said,
“We’re much more than a hardware store,” he said. “We believe in a whole shopping experience and that has meant bringing in a lot of things you wouldn’t normally see in a hardware store.”
Sologuk said parents don’t have any retirement plans that he knows of and the entire family is looking forward to many more years of serving their loyal customers in and around Osoyoos.
The winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year was Len McLean, the co-owner of HW McLean Construction Ltd. in Osoyoos.McLean, who was on vacation in Mexico and could not attend the awards banquet, did send a letter that was read by incoming chamber president Myers Bennett. McLean said he was “honoured and humbled” for receiving this kind of recognition from the local business community.
He also thanked his business partner Herb Wycherley and all of the local business suppliers that he conducts business with on a regular basis.
His wife Kirsten also deserves a great deal, he said in his letter.
“I couldn’t do this without her support and I can’t thank her enough,” he said.
Also nominated for the Entrepreneur of the Year included Jack Bennest, the owner of the Oliver Daily News website, and Scott Linttell, a local developer and president of Linttell Projects.
The winner of the Best Small Business (one to six employees) was Sarsons Mechanical from Okanagan Falls.
Other nominees were Amos Realty from Oliver, the Osoyoos Coyotes junior hockey club and Lakeside Travel from Osoyoos.
A new board of directors was also announced Friday at the chamber’s annual general meeting was held prior to the business awards ceremony.
Bennett, the owner of Valley First Insurance, said he was honoured to take over as the new president and follow in the footsteps of past president Holly Plante, who he said did an outstanding job in leading the organization over the past 12 months.
Other members of the new board of directors for the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce include Osoyoos members Payam Sanai, owner of Pizza Factory restaurant , Jim King, who works with CLR and Associates; and Steve Ceron, the general manager of the Osoyoos Times and Oliver Chronicle.
Oliver board members include Petra Veintimilla,, who works with Alberto’s Decorating Centre, April Goldade, the manager of Terrafina Restaurant at the Hester Creek Winery and Linda Buhler, the founder of Color Me Healthy.
Brian Highley, publisher of the Okanagan Sun newspaper, is also on the board.