As a follow-up to the 2014 Halifax Business Awards, Melissa Muise, the Chamber’s PR Coordinator, and I went on a little road trip over two days to visit many of the Halifax Business Awards finalists.
Day 1 – Bedford/Halifax
We started by heading over the Magazine Hill from the Chamber offices into Bedford. Our first stop was at Macdonald Chisholm Trask Insurance, who are proudly displaying their Business of the Year Bronze award in their reception area.
Next we stopped in to Rx Security, a high-tech innovative company working out of an unassuming little office in Bedford. We could hear a printer chugging away, turning out (we guessed) some of the company’s counterfeit-resistant prescription pads.
After a visit to Newpace Technology Development Inc.’s Bedford offices, we headed out the Hammonds Plains Road to visit Kitchen Door Catering Company. Their welcoming space on Bluewater Road, just off Hammonds Plains, offers an interesting look into the workings of a catering company, as you can see the chefs preparing the food in the open-concept space. The work surfaces and table are all re-purposed from their former lives, and a custom piece of art on the wall reflects their brand without being too loud. We also had a chance to taste-test their “Bite Me Nosh” – a caramel-popcorn-with-a-kick bag of deliciousness.
Then we headed up the hill to Platform, a space where innovative, small firms such as Smartfirm can house their office or rent co-working or boardroom space. We took advantage of the visit to take a quick look around at the spaces available – a large and small boardroom, coworking space (in shades of lime green!) and a kitchen area, in addition to offices for rent.
Next up was Clearwater Seafoods, located by the giant lobster on the Bedford Highway. Their reception area includes such great nautical touches as a large captain’s wheel and a vintage motorboat kiddie ride.
Heading into Halifax we stopped at T4G’s new digs on Kempt Road, where they have taken over an old furniture store to house their ever-expanding workforce. Agricola Street brought us to Fred Connors’ FRED and, just down the street, to their neighbours Bridge Brewing Company. (Unfortunately, the Bridge Brewing Company’s beer store was closed on that day so we weren’t able to pick up a growler or two!)
Further downtown we visited Innovative Business of the Year Gold winner LeadSift and also DSM Telecom, who have their spoils from wins in both 2011 and 2014 on display in their reception area. Also downtown we found Cyclone Studios in their newly expanded space, CBCL Limited, and Barrington Consulting Group (located in a cool heritage building on Barrington Street!).
Our last stop on day one was to head out the Herring Cove Road to find Pavia Gallery Espresso Bar and Café. We arrived after the lunch rush to find a nearly full house enjoying tasty food, coffee and art. We indulged in a cappuccino (or two!), which the owners went to Florence to learn how to make and which came complete with foam art!
Day 2 – Dartmouth
Our second day of road trips started with a tour of Burnside (where, if you look closely, you will find all kinds of businesses doing innovative and interesting things you didn’t know were happening in Nova Scotia!). There we visited Ad-Dispatch Inc., Mike Herenberg (of Kerr Group), G2 Research Ltd., and Heritage Gas.
Next we headed out Main Street to visit Mercer’s Best Built Structures. Their office is housed in a beautiful show home with a kitchen to be envious of!
Back in Dartmouth, we visited PetFocus Veterinary Group’s location on Portland Street. The waiting area features a huge fish tank, and there were of course some cute dogs making their way through the lobby as well! One dog suddenly realized his owner wasn’t coming with him, and balked, until the vet tech coaxed the dog and eventually picked it up and carried it into the treatment area!
Next we visited the (delicious-smelling) Battered Fish location on Pleasant Street. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite lunchtime yet because their menu items certainly sounded enticing!
Then we made our way downtown to the East Coast Credit Union’s beautiful new building, tucked in next to the power station on Ochterloney St.
We finished our journey at Alderney Landing at the Dartmouth Location of The Wooden Monkey, home to our Business Person of the Year Gold Winner, Lil MacPherson. And by that time it WAS lunchtime so we stayed and had a bite to eat too!
Know someone who deserves to be recognized as a great Halifax Business? Nominations for the 2015 Halifax Business Awards, believe it or not, are opening soon! Stay tuned to the Chamber website and Bulletin e-newsletter for more details.
Jennifer Pierce is the Member Services Specialist at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. If you would like to request a member visit please contact Jennifer. She can be reached at (902) 481-1227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.