Arch­way In­sur­ance hon­oured as Busi­ness of the Year

Birken­shaw’s Tea Room, Ac­cess La­bels and Cum­ber­land YMCA among other hon­orees

The Amherst News - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - BY DAR­RELL COLE dar­rell.cole@amher­st­news.ca Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

An Amherst firm that has grown to be­come one of At­lantic Canada’s largest in­sur­ance bro­kers is the Busi­ness of the Year for the Amherst and Area Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Arch­way In­sur­ance, formed in 1985 as Barnes In­sur­ance un­der the part­ner­ship of Bob Barnes and Garry Stack, was rec­og­nized by the cham­ber as the top busi­ness with six em­ploy­ees or more dur­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s busi­ness awards din­ner on Oct. 17.

“We are so hon­oured and thrilled to have re­ceived this recog­ni­tion,” Bill Munro of Arch­way In­sur­ance said upon ac­cept­ing the award from El­iz­a­beth CookeSumbu, rep­re­sent­ing the Amherst of­fice of Nova Sco­tia Works. “We are a com­pany that is built on, and be­lieves strongly in, com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and sup­port.”

In pre­sent­ing the award, Cooke-Sumbu said the com­pany has grown from one of­fice in Amherst to 24 lo­ca­tions through­out Nova Sco­tia and New Brunswick with 150 em­ploy­ees. De­spite this growth, he said, the com­pany has main­tained its fam­ily spirit with Mike Stack as CEO and his sis­ter Gina McFetridge as com­pany pres­i­dent.

An­other suc­cess­ful Amherst com­pany, Birken­shaw’s Tea Room, was pre­sented the award for Busi­ness of the Year with five or less em­ploy­ees.

Since open­ing last De­cem­ber, Birken­shaw’s, run by Adrian and Eleanor Brad­bury, has seen its busi­ness and cus­tomer base grow – thanks in part to its in­clu­sion as one of the top 10 spots in Canada for af­ter­noon tea by Chate­laine mag­a­zine.

It was the only tea room east of Mon­treal to re­ceive the recog­ni­tion.

“It has been an amaz­ing 10 months,” Adrian said upon ac­cept­ing the award. “We are ma­jor sup­port­ers of the town and the work of its de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Re­becca Tay­lor as well as the CBDC. We have been for­tu­nate to have had the sup­port of cus­tomers who are now com­ing from across Canada.”

Ac­cess La­bels, which re­cently com­pleted an ex­pan­sion to its East Amherst fa­cil­ity, was named the Ex­porter of the Year.

Cre­ated in 1993 with just two em­ploy­ees, Ac­cess La­bels now has 38 peo­ple work­ing for it with con­tracts across Nova Sco­tia, the Mar­itimes, the coun­try and is now grow­ing its pres­ence in the United States.

“We’ve grown four times and we’re still grow­ing,” com­pany owner Paul Carr said after ac­cept­ing the award from David Co­pus of Nova Sco­tia Busi­ness Inc. “The key to our suc­cess has been our peo­ple. The best ad­vice I can give to some­one is sur­round your­self with good peo­ple and you’ll be amazed at (how) well you’ll do. We have cus­tomers who have been with us from the very be­gin­ning in 1993. That there should tell you some­thing.”

In Fe­bru­ary, a $1-mil­lion fed­eral in­vest­ment was an­nounced that saw the com­pany add a 7,500-square-foot ware­house and pur­chase a new press.

The com­mu­nity Non-Profit of the Year Award was pre­sented to the Cum­ber­land YMCA.

YMCA CEO Trina Clarke said the award shows just how far the or­ga­ni­za­tion has come from its fight to sur­vive just a decade ago.

“When we were do­ing our busi­ness plan to en­sure our sus­tain­abil­ity the sin­gle big­gest thing we kept hear­ing was the YMCA was do­ing a poor job com­mu­ni­cat­ing what we do and the won­der­ful pro­grams we of­fer in the com­mu­nity,” Clarke said. “We’ve got­ten a lot bet­ter at do­ing that and this award is a sym­bol of our pride. It’s OK to be proud and boast about what we’re do­ing.”

DAR­RELL COLE – AMHERST NEWS

For the first time in sev­eral years the Amherst and Area Cham­ber of Com­merce hosted a busi­ness awards din­ner. Ac­cept­ing awards were, from left, Adrian Brad­bury from Birken­shaw’s Tea Room (Busi­ness of the Year five em­ploy­ees or less), Bill Munro from Arch­way In­sur­ance (Busi­ness of the Year six em­ploy­ees or more), Trina Clarke from the Cum­ber­land YMCA (Non-Profit of the Year) and Paul Carr (Ex­porter of the Year).

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