The Chamber’s Sold-Out Awards Party Was A Night To Remember
Saturday’s event at the Manor House at Pleasant Beach Village marked the return of the Chamber’s Annual Business Awards with more than 150 business partners, civic organizations, and community leaders joining the fun. It was the first celebration in more than three ‘interesting ‘ years and we couldn’t have imagined a more perfect evening.
The world has changed dramatically since the last time we last hosted this event, and so has the Chamber. As part of our efforts to reinvent, revitalize, and reengage with the local business community, we also look to support the island by creating programming and events that support our members’ goals. Along with the Chamber’s 16 board members, we are honored to have your trust in this privileged position within our community.
Thank you to our Event Sponsors: Puget Sound Energy for being the dinner sponsor, Eleven Winery for donating wine, Town & Country Markets for supplying desserts, Bainbridge Event Rentals for bringing their “Lightning Booth” photo fun, Skyhawk Press for making the awards, and Pleasant Beach Village for hosting the event.
Additional thanks to our raffle prize donors – Puget Sound Energy, Far Bank Enterprises/Sage/Rio/Redington/Fly Water Travel.and M52Gear who made it possible for the Chamber to give out some epic prizes including Club-Level Sounders tickets, a Sage Foundations Fishing Rod and m52gear hip flasks.
The Chamber’s 2023 Bainbridge Business Awards celebrated 35 nominees across 7 categories nominated and voted on by Chamber members in an MVP-style online ballot, plus a special chamber-given award recognizing an individual or organization’s legacy of impact on the Island. Each of the nominees represent the best of what makes Bainbridge Island a fantastically unique place to create and grow a business.
Thank you to all who attended, and all our members that voted – see you next year!
2023 Bainbridge Business Awards Nominees + Winners
Small Business of the Year – Coquette Bake Shop
- Coquette started 7 years ago as a simple Parisian-style cart specializing in divine baked goods inspired by bakeries up and down the West Coast, took the island by storm and is now a coveted local treat – or um, staple in your diet, depending on who you talk to. After 7 years of that cart-life, Jerry Childers and Coquette Bake Shop recently expanded to a new, larger location at Winslow Green.
Nominees: Eleven Winery, Island Life Artisan Gifts, The Lamb & Kid, Paula Weissinger/State Farm
Medium Business of the Year – Bay Hay & Feed
- Founded in 1979 in Rolling Bay, Bay Hay and Feed is an old-fashioned farm store and nursery. Now under the multi-generational ownership of the Groman family, they are purveyors of outstanding farm supplies, pet food, clothing, shoes, local produce, an incredible variety of plants and organic garden supplies and are still the proud home of those world-famous Bay Hay shirts.
Nominees: Ace Hardware, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Pegasus Coffee, Via Rosa 11
Large Business of the Year – Pleasant Beach Village
- We all love our slice of Bainbridge Island living – and Pleasant Beach Village shares that with countless guests looking to get away from it all. The beauty of a seaside resort, the walkability of a small community and the conviviality of summer retreat is what you can expect anytime you walk through the community, lounge by the pool, take in live music or enjoy a delicious meal.
Nominees: Bainbridge Senior Living, Far Bank Enterprises, Kitsap Bank, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health
New Business of the Year – Sisters’ Cider House
- Charming, welcoming, and open to all ages who love all things FUN – Skee-ball, original Nintendo + board games – this island newcomer is owned and operated by a pair of sisters who truly know how to make kickass cider.
Nominees: Aden Chiropractic, Bainbridge Event Rentals, Cogwheel Construction, Little Harbor Company
Nonprofit of the Year – Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island
- For more than 75 years, Rotary’s mission has been to benefit the community and our world through action, integrity, service, and fellowship. Together, through a collaboration of business, professional and community leaders, Rotary takes action to create lasting change.
Nominees: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Bainbridge Schools Foundation, Housing Resources Bainbridge, Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center
Business Leader of the Year – Erika Thayer, The Ravine
- After driving onto the ferry to get Mora’s ice cream and never leaving, Erika and her family made their home on Bainbridge in 2011. She opened the Bainbridge Apothecary and Tea Shop and has continued to expand – now running four neighboring businesses on Winslow Way including the new ‘Bainbridge Escape Room’ and ‘The Ravine’ event venue!
Nominees: Blair King, City of Bainbridge Island; Christine Mueller, Visit Bainbridge Island; Greg Dronkert, Pacific Mobility Group; Steve Mikami, ACE Hardware
Community Spirit Award & GO4 Grand Marshal – Steve Snyder, Town & Country Markets
- The T&C vision is to nourish the quality of life and Steve leads by example as the market director of the original market here on our island. He is both engaged and integral to our well-being on this island and taking their place at the head of this year’s Hometown Parade on July 4th is our community’s way of saying thank you to Steve and his team for doing just that year-round here on Bainbridge Island.
Nominees: Dominique Cantwell (Bainbridge Performing Arts), Inez Maubane Jones (Arts & Humanities Bainbridge), Chasity Malatesta (Multinarratives, Inc.), Micah & Aaron Strom (Modern Collision)
2023 Legacy Award – Christine Mueller, Visit Bainbridge Island
The Chamber’s Legacy Award is one made directly by the Chamber to recognize a member of our community that has made a significant impact on how business is conducted on Bainbridge. It adapts to recognize landmark anniversaries, projects, or careers that have enriched our community.
- Chris took on an idea, made it into a nonprofit organization, and has spent the past 6 years building something Bainbridge has never had before – a destination marketing organization. Amid a pandemic, she created an engine to help bring visitors to the Island, a system to bring press and attention to beautiful Bainbridge, and a vital connection between our community and the rest of the world. Her hard work, determination, and perseverance has made a true impact on our business community helping spur its vitality and create resilience when we needed it most. Christine has done all of that so successfully that she even found her own highly qualified replacement and can now step back secure in the knowledge of a job well done.
Thank you to all our winners and nominees for being the passion that brings this community together, gives us bright ideas, to celebrate and take out into the world.
2023 Bainbridge Business Awards Photo Gallery
See more great pics from the Lightning Booth
at the 2023 Business Awards – and rent it yourself from Bainbridge Event Rentals!
Photo Credits: Bainbridge Event Rentals, Anna Short, Chantelle Lusebrink