LAYTON — The Davis Chamber of commerce had more nominees than ever this year for its annual business awards, but last week chose four shining examples of local entrepreneurship and the Davis School District for special recognition.
North Salt Lake-based sprinkler manufacturer Orbit Irrigation, which recently announced expansion plans, was named business of the year.
Orbit Irrigation highlighted its local roots when its representative received the business of the year award. The multi-national business has been headquartered in North Salt Lake for more than 40 years, but “my great grandfather pulled a handcart into here in 1886,” he said.
Three of the winning businesses are from Layton County. Roosters Brewing Company was named small business of the year, Lagoon was named employer of the year and Speaking Roses, a booming startup that prints messages on live flowers, took home the innovation award.
Roosters owners Kym and Pete Buttschardt were ecstatic to hear that their restaurant and micro-brewery had been chosen. Their walk to the stage was partly a dance of celebration.
The couple doesn’t live in Layton, but Kym said they have friends throughout the county.
“We love being in this county and we fight for our little spot on the map, so thank you so much for supporting us,” she said.
Speaking Roses President and CEO Rene Rodriguez, originally from Chile, accepted the innovation award with pride.
“Our goal is to bring just a new way of expression, brining life to the old form of flowers,” he said.
Red long-stem roses printed with the Davis Chamber logo were given to all the women who attended the ceremony.
The representative from Lagoon, whose name was not announced, accepted the company’s award during the Oscar-style ceremonies. Many in the audience had been employed at the amusement park, he said.
“We think that’s a pretty big thing that you’re willing to put your people into our hands so we can train them for other jobs,” he said. “We’ll keep employing your children.”
Lagoon has between 2,500 and 2,700 seasonal employees and 150 full-time employees, according to the chamber.
The chamber’s biggest award, the Legacy Award, was given to the Davis School District, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Also at the ceremony, 2012 Chamber board chairman handed the gavel to Chantel Chase of Zions Bank. She announced next year’s theme, “Expect Great Things in 2013.”
“There is opportunity all around us and if in Davis County we can’t do something, where can we?” she challenged the crowd.