We knew we were nominated in three categories. We did not know what categories they were. Last night (Wednesday, September 24th) Team Bakery gathered at the mall with all the other people and businesses that were nominated. The top three nominees for each category were announced one by one, with the 1st place winner receiving a plaque. These awards mean alot to those of us who are local independent business owners because the community votes and chooses the winners! Recognition from our community means the world to us and it is so exciting to be your favorite!

First they called out the ‘Best Dessert’ award, which we were nominated for, and just like last year Cold Stone Creamery won the award. I am going to have to get over there to see what it is you all love so much about their desserts! I have never been to a Cold Stone and I think it is time to try it; although, there is a locally owned independent ice cream store on Bainbridge that I will try first. I don’t get to BI very often at all, but that sounds like a great place to try.

Then they were announcing ‘Best Bakery’ and we were thrilled to win again! I said to the team ‘come on you guys!’ and began crutching my way up to receive the award. I turned around, expecting to see all my staff beaming around me, and only Mark was there! Everyone else stayed behind! Sheesh! Buncha goofballs did that to me last year, too. You would think I would learn!

After a few more awards they were calling out the nominees in the category of ‘Best Art Gallery’ and we were nominated! I was so surprised and so happy that we were included in that category! We did not win first place, yet the phrase ‘it was an honor just to be nominated’ applies here more than you think. We cherish our local art community and it is such a pleasure to have the art hanging all over our walls, and to be a part of the Art Walk. For the community to recognize this is outstanding!

So thank you, thank you and thank you for all these wonderful nominations! We love this community and the fact that you love us is certainly not lost on us. We cannot thrive without you and certainly would have nothing to strive for! We are all very grateful to you and I hope that we will always continue to please you this much and more.

I heard a few people last night discussing the fact that there are so many conglomerate chains and large franchises who keep getting nominated, and the feeling was that there should be more focus on the independent locally owned businesses. Since the Chamber and the newspaper are putting this on, and a large part of their funding comes from those chains, they will never push for such a focus. It is up to as consumers to speak with our money and habits. Shopping and dining at the independent places, utilizing the services of the locally owned businesses and avoiding the bigger places. And when we can’t avoid them, being picky about what we purchase and demanding community involvement can help. The community voted for those businesses so they must be important to us; hopefully not to the detriment of the little guy. Demanding sustainable practices, community outreach and other responsible habits of all the businesses we choose is a must. As a consumer I want to know what the businesses I choose do to give back. As a business owner I want you to know what we do, and what we can do to improve those things in your eyes!

Being a part of a community is a responsibility and with the economy going south I believe we are going to be getting back to community roots more than ever. This is a good thing! We want to know our neighbors and what is important to you.

Come on in and say hi! Let us thank you in person for your votes! WE ARE SO HAPPY TO BE HERE!