The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce announced the 2021 Business of the Year award winners last night at the Cambridge Red Deer Hotel and Conference Centre.

The 38th annual award was hosted by Sunny 94 announcer Adam Hamilton and was given to five recipients. An independent adjudication committee made up of local business leaders selected 15 finalists from more than 88 nominees in this annual celebration of business excellence.

And the winners are:

1-10 full-time equivalent employees' category-Cook with Meg

11-20 full-time equivalent employees' category-Breathing Room Yoga Studio and Psycle

21 or more full-time equivalent employees' category-Go Services Inc.

Young Entrepeneur category-Bestea Chill Out Cafe

and the Non-Profit award category-Habitat for Humanity, Red Deer Region.

Businesses are nominated by the public, and chamber volunteers interview nominees to develop material for the committee.The committee then conducts a comprehensive evaluation to determine the finalists.

Meg Tucker of Cook with Meg offers cooking classes kids, teens, and adults was thrilled to win under the 1-10 employees category.

“I am over the moon. I was excited coming into these awards. It's so cliche to say it's really an honor to be nominated, but it really, really was and I think it wasn't until I saw ‘Business of the Year’ on the large screen that it hit me. Oh my gosh. How did we get it?  I couldn't be more excited,” said Tucker. 

Tucker was able to make the pandemic into an opportunity to grow and create Cook with Meg. 

“I don't want to say the pandemic was all terrible for me because it allowed Cook with Meg to be born. We came up with the idea because we thought I don't have a lot of clients who are going to be able to continue with me with my services. What do I do? What skill set do I have that I can offer? It just goes back to where is the need and can I fill that need,” explained Meg. 

It will be the last awards for CEO of Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce, Rick Moore who will be retiring in month. Moore will be ending his time with the Chamber with Canadian Finals Rodeo and Agri-trade. He looks forward to celebrating and promoting those events in the coming weeks.  

“Last year, we didn't go with Agri-trade and that's a huge economic loss for central Alberta,” said Moore. 

After seeing those events through, he will be packing up his desk on November 15, 2021. 

“I said I would get us through Agri-trade and then on the Monday I'll clear my desk and run out because it'll probably be very emotional for me. Whenever you're that long with these fine employees, it's tough to say bye and it's not goodbye, it’s see you later I've always stated. They've made my job easier and they've done great things for this community and the businesses,” said Moore. 

Moore shed a couple of tears during the awards finding the personal stories and acceptance speeches very touching. 

“We've done this and I've attended everyone but from the first one to this one. I've never heard such good acceptance speeches in any of them, and the emotion. You know you could hear a pin drop and people love those true life stories and how they've been through a lot, and I think that's why the emotion came out so much tonight,” said Moore. 

In retirement, Moore won’t be slowing down. He will remain on the AMA board, the Child Advocacy Board, and will be working with Smiles Thru Lindsey.