brass awards winners

The BRASS Award Gala was held June 2 at the Saugeen Golf Club. The event saw Jamie Taylor of Baby Boutique win Business of the Year, Terry Chappell of Dale’s Carpentry win Excellence in Skilled Trades, Kristen Watt of Kristen’s Pharmacy win Excellence in Customer Service, Carol and Walter Mackowski of Vincent Jewellers win the Lifetime Achievement Award and Pier Donnini of the Queen’s Bar & Grill win the Mayor’s Community Service Award.

Hub Staff

After months of anticipation the 2018 BRASS (Business Recognition of Achievement in Saugeen Shores) Awards were doled out to six businesses serving the Saugeen Shores community June 2.

The event, hosted by the Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce and the BRASS Awards Committee, was held at Saugeen Golf Club, where nominees enjoyed a prepared meal and video interludes to all nominated businesses in each category.

Business of the Year was awarded to Jamie Taylor, owner of Baby Boutique. The Port Elgin boutique that sells new and slightly used baby and toddler clothing as well as other neat finds opened less than a year ago. Taylor said during a tearful acceptance speech that she was thankful for the opportunity to win such an award, thanking organizers, her husband Brandon Maddick and partner-in-crime, Store Manager Kim Schmitt. “They said it takes a village to raise a child, well it certainly takes a village to run a children’s store or any small business for that matter and this community, Brandon and Kim, you guys are my village,” she said.

A Lifetime Achievement award went to retirees Walter and Carol Mackowski, owners of the former Southampton jewellery store Vincent Jewellers, a landmark location in Southampton for over 55 years. “It’s a great honour and feels amazing to be recognized after serving the community for such a long-time,” said Carol Mackowski. “It’s something we wish that every business owner would have a chance to experience,” she added.

Since closing their store on a high note in 2017, the couple have been able to reflect on their success and what it means to them now, months later. “We had great customers, the best thing was pleasing people, trying to help them,” said Carol.

Walter added that his thanks goes out to the community. “The community itself was always behind us,” he said.

The Mayor’s Community Service Award, sponsored by the Town of Saugeen Shores, went to Pier Donnini owner of the Queen’s Bar & Grill in Port Elgin. Donnini assists with local fundraising and mental health awareness efforts and donates food for free weekly dinners at Living Hope Christian Centre, and, alongside Queen’s staff, provides a free Christmas feast for hundreds of Saugeen Shores residents. “It’s important and means a lot to me because it will help me encourage others to do the same, so that we can all do this together,” said Donnini.

The award for Young Professional of the Year went to Dane Buttenaar - Backyard Boys Landscape Construction. Other nominated individuals were Melissa MacKinnon, owner of Unleash the Pawsitive; and Elyse Brown, owner of Hair in Southampton.

The award for Excellence in Skilled Trade went to Dale’s Carpentry. Other nominated businesses were Sonas Hair & Esthetics and EMS Plumbing Services.

The Customer Service Excellence Award went to Kristen’s Pharmacy in Southampton. Other nominated businesses were Bruce County Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic and Hampton Court Retirement Lodge.

Business of the Year went to Baby Boutique. Other contenders consisted of clothing boutique Sister on Huron, and Port Elgin’s Gord’s Imprints and Design.

The event also featured a live auction by Auctioneer Pat O’Connor and had a special moment honouring Joanne Robbins, longstanding Chamber of Commerce Manager who will be stepping into her new role of Port Elgin Pumpkinfest Coordinator.

baby boutique

Chamber President Kate Cammidge-Irwin (left) presented Jamie Taylor, Baby Boutique with her Business of the Year Award at the BRASS Awards held June 2.

mayor pier

Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith with the Mayor’s Community Service Award winner Pier Donnini, owner of the Queen’s Bar & Grill in Port Elgin.


Chamber of Commerce President Kate Cammidge-Irwin (left) with Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Carol and Walter Mackowski of Vincent Jewellers.


The Kristen’s Pharmacy team of Kim Caven (left), Kristen Watt, and Sheena Deane won the BRASS Award for Customer Service Excellence.

baby crew

Celebrating their Business of the Year win were Murray (left) and store manager Kim Schmitt with Owner Jamie Taylor and Brandon Maddick.

joanne robbins

Outgoing Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce Manager Joanne Robbins received a standing ovation for her years of hard work and dedication to the Saugeen Shores community.


Award nominee Sonas Hair & Aesthetics enjoying the 2018 BRASS Awards, June 2 at Saugeen Golf Club.

pat oconnor

Auctioneer Pat O'Connor presented a live auction June 2, part of the 2018 BRASS Awards at Saugeen Golf Club.