Flanked by his parents Cathy and Ronnie Lee, Ron Lee and partner Morgan Coyle clutch Tofino’s Business of the Year starfish trophy in front of his beachside BBQ joint back in November 2021. (TLBCC photo)

Flanked by his parents Cathy and Ronnie Lee, Ron Lee and partner Morgan Coyle clutch Tofino’s Business of the Year starfish trophy in front of his beachside BBQ joint back in November 2021. (TLBCC photo)

Tofino restaurant cracks Small Business BC Awards Top 5

Lil Ronnie’s Beachside BBQ up for Business Impact Award

Lil Ronnie’s Beachside BBQ is on a roll.

Earlier in March, the Small Business BC (SBBC) Awards named the popular Tofino BBQ joint one of five finalists for the Business Impact Award. SBBC received 636 nominations for the accolade, representing 442 businesses across the province.

The nod comes a couple months after Lil Ronnie’s was bestowed the title of Business of the Year by the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.

“I want to express my thanks to the community. It really does mean a lot. As a small business owner, you go through a lot of ups and downs and you know, winning the Tofino Business of the Year through the chamber really brought a tear to my eye. It was an awesome experience. It showed that we really do make an impact in the community,” said restaurant owner Ron Lee.

“And then to come into the Top 5 for the Small Business BC Impact Award it really just nails it home that we do have a place in this community, and that was my ultimate goal when we first started out here, was to really plant our feet and become a part of these towns on the West Coast.”

Lee moved to Tofino about six years ago from the Maritimes and built his Tofino business “from basically nothing” as he says. Lil Ronnie’s is now well recognized for providing food for community dinners and supporting local charities whenever needed. Most recently for Christmas 2021, the Lil Ronnie’s crew served about 1,350 people takeout turkey dinner in one evening.

“I’m really proud of the decisions that I’ve made along the way and the roads that we’ve navigated. Coming through that power outage that was prior to the pandemic and being able to navigate that. Our business is always adapting and growing. This year, one of the best feelings is we opened back up and we have a full kitchen team. Everybody just came back. You must have a good work environment if people are just coming back. It’s pretty awesome. I’m just living on a high right now,” he said.

Lee also became a new dad about a month and a half ago when his partner Morgan Coyle gave birth to their baby boy Lucas on March 11, adding gravy to the success roll.

“Lucas has been sitting here in the office with dad doing all the work. He’s my good luck charm,” beamed Lee.

The winner of the SBBC Business Impact Award will be announced at a virtual awards presentation on April 28. A cash prize of $8,000 goes to first place, $4,000 to second, and $1,500 for third.



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

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