2022 FirstOntario Credit Union Award Winners Announced 1

Four women-led small businesses were announced winners of the 2022 FirstOntario 1Awards competition from among 11 finalists during an in-person event at Carmen’s Banquet Center on Wednesday.

Three Hamilton businesses — Darling Donuts, Love My Mat Yoga and Wax and Fire Co. — and a Port Colborne-based entity, Anchors Away Support Services, totaled $200,000 in cash and in-kind professional services “as a means of d ‘helping businesses thrive,'” the website noted.

For the 10th consecutive year, the FirstOntario 1 Awards were open to local businesses in the Hamilton, Halton, Brant and Niagara regions that have demonstrated growth and made an impact in their community.

The competition has invested $1.8 million in local businesses across all regions over the past 10 years, according to a statement.

The 11 shortlisted entrants were invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton earlier this month.

Here is a list of the winners:

love my yoga mat

A Hamilton business run by a mother and daughter, Love My Mat Yoga won $72,300 in cash and professional services. The store, located on King Street East, has been selling aesthetic yoga and meditation products made from reclaimed and forgotten fabrics since 2008. Their product line includes yoga mats, yoga bolsters, yoga mat bags , eye pillows and essential oils.

Shelley Gordon, co-founder of Love My Mat Yoga, told The Spectator that “a good chunk” of the prize money would be spent on marketing, advertising and creating new processes for end-of-life products. life. “And also, for some staff bonuses,” she added.

darling donuts

This Binbrook bakery, known for its baked mini donuts, won $61,200 in cash and professional services. Selling fresh produce from Friday to Sunday, Darling Donuts is a woman-run bakery that offers 19 varieties of donuts to choose from – also available for personalization with edible prints, personal messages or desired shapes and numbers.

Alyssa Lancia, who started the business as a “fun project” from her home kitchen, told the Spectator she was looking to take her business “to the next level” with new production and operating systems. , as well as using marketing opportunities for promotions.

“I would also expand beyond Friday to Sunday and have more availability for people during the week,” she said. Currently, Lancia plans to place orders in advance. If you want to buy mini donuts, the next available spot on her calendar is in July.

Wax and Fire Co.

Launched in 2018, the group sells a variety of zero-waste artisan soy candles in reusable jars. Wax and Fire Co. received $52,200 in professional services, enabling it to work with marketing and advertising agencies to continue its growth.

Ella Nunes, founder of Wax and Fire Co., said she was happy to see “the incredible growth over the past four years” and excited to work with companies that would continue to energize the brand.

Wax and Fire Co. candles – classics, limited editions and wellness items – are available at all Healthy Planet and Nature’s Emporium stores.

Anchors Away Support Services Inc.

A Port Colborne-based company, Anchors Away Support Services Inc. pocketed $14,300 in cash and in-kind services. A couple-run business provides young people with disabilities with a 2,000 square foot recreational and learning facility for social interaction. Anchors Away currently offers day programs, employment opportunities, and assistance in applying for government funding.

Kim Simons, the facility’s co-founder, told The Spectator the prize money would add to the savings to establish a second location in Port Colborne.

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