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Ucluelet’s Mint Cleaning earns top spot at SBBC Awards

Mint Cleaning has opened its first storefront in Ucluelet at 1950 Peninsula Road
Robyn Mair and Monika Scott were shocked and delighted to receive a Small Business BC E-Commerce Experience Award at a gala held on June 2. (Photo submitted)

Monika Scott was preparing herself to hear a different company’s name as she held her Mint Cleaning co-founder Robyn Mair’s hand at the Small Business BC Awards gala on June 2.

“I honestly didn’t expect our name. I was kind of ready for the disappointment in the seconds before, just like ‘It’s OK, you didn’t get this, but it’s OK,’” Scott told the Westerly News, adding she was overwhelmed when Mint was announced the winner.

“I just looked at Robyn with complete shock…The moment was just so surprising and shocking and overwhelming. It was an amazing feeling for sure. We’ve worked really hard and it felt like it’s paid off, that kind of recognition and that moment felt like a big payoff for all the hours we’ve put into the business and our heart and soul…It was a very wild experience and we’re so grateful and now we’re kind of like ‘What next?’ We’ve got some ideas.”

Scott said she is proud to share the accolades with the community.

“I feel like this award is for the community. I’ve said from the beginning that I don’t think that we’d be at where we’re at today without this community. Everyone has supported us so much, bought our products, spread the word, shared it on their social media, bought it as gifts for their friends and family,” she said. “We’ve just been so spoiled with community support and it felt like this was a bit of a thank you to everyone and giving back to everyone because it feels like it’s for the whole community.”

Scott and Mair were up for the SBBC’s E-Commerce Experience Award, which showcases businesses that provide “a frictionless experience for their customers online” according to the award’s writeup.

SBBC is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and the awards were presented at a gala on June 2, which Scott and Mair attended along with two of Mint’s managers.

“It was a really fun car ride and ferry ride. Lots of energy,” Scott said.

She added neither she nor Mair expected to win.

“Our energy was high. Both of us were nervous and excited but also scared to be too excited. We definitely didn’t expect to win…We were excited, nervous, full of anticipation and just thrilled to be going,” Scott said. “I’d never been to a gala before. I’d never worn heels before. Living in Ucluelet, it’s very rare that you get a chance to dress up like that, so that was really exciting to just to dress up and get ready altogether at the hotel.”

This year’s awards saw 613 nominees from 84 communities across the province whittled down to Top 5 finalists in five divisions through a selection process that included 74,000 public votes and written responses reviewed by judges.

Finalists then pitched their business to a panel of judges who selected the winners.

Each winner receives $10,000 in prize money, professional videography and one-year of free advisory support from SBBC.

“For twenty years, the Small Business BC Awards has offered a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their drive and determination while receiving the recognition they so greatly deserve,” said Tom Conway, CEO of Small Business BC. “These are some of the most creative, passionate and resilient people, and it’s truly our honour to share their stories through the Small Business BC Awards.”

Mint Cleaning opened its first storefront in Ucluelet last month and Scott said she’s enjoyed seeing the company’s supporters.

“The support has been amazing from the community and tourists coming in. It’s been awesome. We just keep saying, ‘We should have done this sooner’ because it’s great to have a space where people can come in, see what’s going on behind the scenes, buy their Mint and say, ’Hello,’” she said. “I like seeing people. I’m a social person so it’s been nice having people coming in and checking it out. I’m loving it.”

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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