By Justin Aufdermauer, Executive Director
As we continue to celebrate the businesses, projects and people who will be honored at our annual Awards Banquet on January 20th, I wanted to share more about each nominee and why they are a worthy nomination.
Business of the Year Nominees:
Tillamook Family YMCA: The YMCA has made great strides this year in tailoring to the needs of its members and our community. A few of their recent accomplishments include increasing their program hours to 100 per week; adding an electric swimsuit dryer; replacing the flooring in the locker rooms; and increasing staff training and qualifications. The Board, staff and Executive Director are diligent in their efforts to remain transparent, fiscally responsible and sustainable for the future. And, it must be working since 2017 saw more people utilizing the YMCA than any other year.
Pacific Restaurant: After an extensive remodel, Pacific Restaurant opened in November, right in the thick of the downtown construction. They’ve offered private events and high quality farm-to-table dining, helping revive the downtown business core during the tough winter months and supporting our local farmers and fisherman. Pacific Restaurant is always eager to help local organizations and nonprofits and have created not only a downtown restaurant but also a usable space for community efforts.
Roby’s Furniture: Roby’s has been a staple in Tillamook for years, but they’ve always been more than a furniture store; they are family. Their employees have a long-standing history with Roby’s Furniture, and each year they give back to the community in big ways through a variety of hands-on projects, including Habitat for Humanity of Tillamook County, Helping Hands Re-Entry Outreach Center, and our local school districts. Best of all, they recently decided to make Tillamook the home of their new flagship store, reinvesting in their commitment to our community.
Werner’s Gourmet Meat Snacks: Since 1994, Werner’s Gourmet Meat Snacks have been producing quality wholesale meat snacks right here in Tillamook and employees more than 100 people. Every year Werner’s donates thousands of dollars and products to help better our community. They sponsor a number of fundraising efforts each year, including the Care Bowl-a-Thon, Garibaldi Days, the Tillamook School District Backpack Program, Relay For Life and many more. And, with an expansion in their future they will be creating more jobs for our community.
Small Business of the Year Nominees:
Yo Time Frozen Yogurt: Yo Time Yogurt has become a staple for families, young adults, and community members of all ages who want a fun place to gather. This last year they have placed an emphasis on hosting family-friendly events – like Family Feud and a Ginger Bread House contest – and providing a regular venue for local artists to perform. They’re more than just a frozen yogurt shop; they are a hub of community activity. And they’ve worked to not only improve their own establishment, but also improve our community.
Visit Tillamook Coast: In this year alone, Visit Tillamook Coast published its first guidebook – 25 Hikes on Oregon’s Tillamook Coast – and began work on an extensive and comprehensive agri-tourism endeavor. Through marketing efforts that utilize new and traditional media, Visit Tillamook Coast highlights local activities and attract visitors who are seeking an authentic experience instead of just another vacation. They awarded $100,000 in grants throughout the county to help promote Tillamook as a haven for people who like to be outdoors, enjoy our natural resources and farm-to-table dining and patronize our local businesses.
Local Dog House: The owners of Local Dog House have shown a continued investment in our community since they began as a booth at the Farmers Market. Even after the Second Street Market closure, Local Dog House has made a comeback, purposefully choosing to stay in downtown Tillamook and offer an affordable, family-friendly lunch option. The Local Dog House is also an avid supporter of our school district, and likes to give teens and young adults work experience.
Two Hats Ranch: For more than three decades, Two Hats Ranch has been a premier facility for nearly everything horse related – from training, boarding, riding lessons, breeding and veterinary care, they are a reliable and knowledgeable resource if you are a horse owner. They offer therapy riding lessons for children with special needs and specialize in educating youth about equine care. Owner Zoe has been an active 4-H participant for 50 years and they continue to support 4-H equine activities and foster a love of horses in children.
De Garde Brewery: Since its inception, De Garde Brewery has been putting TIllamook on the map with its internationally-recognized wild beers that bring people to our area from all over the world. And while the popularity of their beer speaks for itself, owner Linsey Rogers made the intentional decision to renovate an empty downtown building to be the new home of their tasting room, and help the revitalization efforts in our downtown core.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore: The ReStore in Bay City is more than just your average thrift store. It creates livable jobs; offers opportunities for people to job train and learn new skills; and directly supports the programs of Habitat for Humanity of TIllamook County, which offers affordable home ownership to qualified families and individuals. While our county grapples with the housing crisis, the ReStore is doing its part by offering quality furniture, and home supplies at an affordable price and directly supporting Habitat’s home builds that help strengthen and stabilize our community.