AP NEWS

Local businesses nominated for Small Business of the Year

May 1, 2019

Four local businesses have been nominated for the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Small Business of the Year award: Cottage Works-Foam Works, Pro-Master Carpet Cleaning, The Q Smokehouse and Red Rooster Coffee and Community.

Nominees for Small Business of the Year will be judged on ability to demonstrate excellence in business practices through sales, quality of service, customer service, leadership and/or involvement.

All nominees are invited to the chamber’s May 4 dinner, when the winner will be announced. Tickets to attend the dinner are $40 and available at the chamber or by calling (231) 845-0324.

Cottage Works — Foam Works

Dann and Julie Van Dyke and the business they own together, Cottage Works, have been nominated for small business of the year.

Cottage Works does maintenance and insulation work on cottages, boats, seawalls, swim rafts, furniture, decor and construction.

The business has been in operation for 10 years, and has 13 full-time employees, two part-time employees and 1,000 active customers using their services.

“Knowing Julie and Dann VanDyke has been a personal and business pleasure,” stated Diane Watts in the nomination letter. “Cottage Works is what all small businesses should be modeled after.”

Watts added that the Van Dykes are a “great asset to the community for providing jobs and quality service.”

Julie sits on the Optimist Club board and helps with the organization’s kids Christmas party, Sportsman’s banquets and its Thanksgiving dinner for seniors.

Pro-Master Carpet Cleaning

Pro-Master Carpet Cleaning was nominated by Linda Holden and Christine McKay.

“I have been pleased with their professionalism, fair pricing and the quality of the products they use,” McKay stated in the nomination letter. “They are knowledgeable about their products and which of their products will work best on the surfaces they are cleaning.”

The owners, Jason and Stephanie Muralt, were complimented in the nomination.

“(They) are the type of people an employer like myself would love to hire,” Holden stated. “They’re hard-working, dedicated, honest and trustworthy.”

McKay said Pro-Master is “highly professional” in its service of customers in the Mason County area, adding that the Muralts are invested not only in their company, but also in their community.

“They are honest individuals who have generously donated both time and money to many community organizations,” McKay stated.

The Muralts have worked on projects for Mason County Central schools and the West Shore Amateur Hockey Association.

The Q Smokehouse

Dave Diephouse, the founder of The Q Smokehouse, and his wife, Marie Quillan, were nominated by Monica Schuyler, who commended the restaurant’s food, as well as its commitment to community service.

“Not only does he make delicious BBQ, but Dave continues to use his business to make a difference and give back everywhere and every way he can,” Schuyler stated in the nomination letter. “He offers his building up to Connexion Point for community meetings and hires participants from the Connexion Point program, offering many who are trying to get back on their feet a second chance.”

Diephouse partners with McBritton Farms and other local business.

“For every 10 McBritton chickens The Q sells, one is donated to the Lakeshore Food Club, providing access to healthy, locally sourced meat for local families who need it,” Schuyler stated.

Diephouse also sponsors many local nonprofits, and encourages volunteerism, Schuyler stated.

Red Rooster Coffee and Community

Red Rooster Coffee and Community received nomination letters from several members of the community for Small Business of the Year.

In one letter, Pastor Gary Ridley commended the efforts of the owners, Rich and Kim Ambrose, to serve and make a positive impact in the community.

“The owners and staff at Red Rooster are incredibly community-minded,” stated Pastor Gary Ridley in his nomination letter, noting that the Ambroses actively volunteer in the area.

“They see their shop as so much more than a business. Every customer matters to them as a person, and it shows by their efforts to get to know people, hearing their story and offering them friendship,” Ridley stated.

The Ambroses said community is an important part of their mission as a business.