Business success and longevity have been recognized by the Delhi and District Chamber of Commerce in announcing the winners of the 2020 Business of the Year, and the Longstanding Business Awards.
“This year’s award winners epitomize business success and longevity, as cumulatively they have been in business for 177 years,” Jim Norman, president of the chamber, said in a press release. “This dynamic history reflects the integrity of the leadership and the superior quality of their products and services. We are proud to be associated with them.”
De Cloet Greenhouse Manufacturing received the 2020 Business of the Year award at a small ceremony held Oct. 15 at Andy’s Drive-In near Langton.
Ben De Cloet entered the greenhouse industry in 1986 after receiving a physics degree from McMaster University.
The company designs and manufactures greenhouses covering the complete range of design and requirements for production growers, nurseries, and retail centres across North America.
They employ 30 full-time employees and offer complete installation service, heating and ventilation systems, benches and after sale service.
“This is appreciated just as much as it would be on a big gala night,” De Cloet said as he accepted his award at the small gathering.
Dekoninck Masonry and Andy’s Drive-In were both recognized with longstanding business awards.
Dekoninck Masonry started out as Dekoninck and Son Masonry, and was founded by William Dekoninck in 1950, just four years after emigrating to Canada from Belgium.
William and his son Maurice worked on projects such as the German, Belgium, and Hungarian Halls in Delhi, as well as Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church.
Maurice Dekoninck eventually took over the company from his father and ventured into larger construction projects, at times employing more than 20 people. Specializing in both residential and commercial projects, Maurice’s son Ron carried on the business in 1988, and changed the name to R. Dekoninck Masonry Inc.
Ron’s son Jeremy has since taken over the company, becoming the fourth generation to run the business.
“It’s an honour to accept this award,” Ron said at the ceremony.
The host of the ceremony, Andy’s Drive-In, also accepted a longstanding business award.
According to the Chamber, Andy’s is the longest standing business of its kind in Norfolk County, with Dale and Michele Docker being the seventh set of owners at the 73-year-old restaurant.
“We feel pretty honoured by this award,” said Michele. “We purchased (Andy’s) 10 years ago with a 10-year plan to grow the business, expand it, and bring it up to today’s social media and everything else.”
The Dockers currently have this business up for sale but are waiting for the perfect owners before they agree to sell.
“If it doesn’t sell we’ll still be here next spring,” Michele laughed. “We want to make sure the tradition of Andy’s goes on.”
A list of previous business of the year and citizen of the year award winners can be found on the Delhi Chamber website.