Calgary, October 22, 2021 – The Calgary Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to present the connectFirst Small Business of the Year Award to Eight Ounce Coffee at tonight’s Small Business Calgary Awards Gala. Founded in 2011 by husband-and-wife duo Wesley and Jennifer Farnell, Eight Ounce Coffee started by selling specialty coffee equipment to an emerging crowd of specialty coffee baristas and home coffee enthusiasts. The pair identified a gap in the market: coffee enthusiasts and coffee baristas could not easily access the specialty equipment that was so readily available elsewhere. Jennifer describes the company’s beginning as “a maternity leave project that got wildly out of hand.” Today, while still a small business with less than 30 employees, Eight Ounce Coffee is the largest specialty coffee equipment distributor in Canada, selling to almost 4,000 cafes, roasters, hotels, kitchens and lifestyle stores across Canada and the United States.
“Building from an idea and a single order, Eight Ounce Coffee is a shining example of how small business can punch above their weight. They find innovative ways to do things better, tap into a market and build a business from the ground up,” says Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce. “We saw well over 100 nominations this year, which signals strength and resilience among small businesses, despite the challenges of the past 20 months. Tonight, we are proud to celebrate those that make remarkable contributions to our community and economy.”
Presenting sponsor and community focused banking partner connectFirst Credit Union recently declared its commitment to the province at a time when Albertans need support the most.
“Building a business is hard, it takes commitment, sacrifice, courage and passion,” says Wellington Holbrook, Chief Operating Officer, connectFirst. “connectFirst is honoured to celebrate and recognize the big things small businesses do to move our economy and community forward.”
Along with the connectFirst Small Business of the Year Award, the Chamber is pleased to recognize the winners of the following categories:
- Helcim Emerging Growth: TradeSpace
- TD Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Presented by Pride in Business: Bottomline Marketing
- SureCall Community Champion: Hippo Hug
- MNP Innovation: WaitWell
- RBC Resilient Business: Alberta Food Tours
- CPA Social Entrepreneurship: Local Laundry
- Servus People’s Choice: art&fact
For a full list of 2021 Small Business Calgary Awards finalists visit: https://calgarychamber.com/small-business-week-awards-2021
About Small Business Week
Small Business Week is the Calgary Chamber’s flagship event that celebrates, supports, and inspires small businesses and is one of the largest small business week celebrations in Canada. First established in 1979 by the Business Development Bank of Canada, Small Business week is now a nationwide celebration across cities and towns dedicated to this vital part of the economy.
Presented by connectFirst Credit Union, Small Business Week in Calgary is one of Canada’s largest B2B networking events and delivers a hands-on week for growth-focused entrepreneurs to dive into their business challenges through a virtual summit featuring a variety of workshops, events and networking opportunities. The week concludes by shining the spotlight on leading small businesses with the Small Business Calgary Awards Gala.
For more information on Small Business Week and Awards, visit: https://calgarychamber.com/small-business-week
About small businesses in Calgary
Small businesses make up over 95 per cent of all businesses in Calgary and per capita, Calgary has the second highest number of small businesses of Canada’s major cities. Small businesses are also a driving force of our national economy, employing nearly 70 per cent of Canada’s total private labour force and generating over 40 per cent of national gross domestic product. Read a recent article from the Calgary Chamber, illustrating the big impact of small business: https://www.calgarychamber.com/influenceq3-small-business
Award winners and Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber will be available for media interviews.
For media inquiries or to schedule an interview, please contact Arianne Brady, Manager, Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org or (403) 750 0414.
About the Calgary Chamber of Commerce
The Calgary Chamber is an independent non-profit, non-partisan business organization. For 130 years, the Chamber has worked to build a business community that nourishes, powers and inspires the world.
About connectFirst Credit Union
connectFirst Credit Union, one of the largest and most successful credit unions in Canada, is a full-service financial institution with over $6 billion in assets under administration. connectFirst employs 750 Albertans who provide a range of financial products and advice in more than 40 communities across central and southern Alberta. It serves over 125,000 members through a community-focused approach to banking.