Possibly my favorite post of the whole year is announcing the WIDA Awards! I love celebrating our amazing businesses and recreational facilities and people! It’s also exciting because I always learn something I had no knowledge of. I could be embarrassed by that, but I think it just shows what a big, fabulous county we have! Another exciting part is that we had 7 times the number of votes this year than we had last year for our first set of awards! Thank you all for voting!
So let’s get to it!
Best New Business
This category was rich in businesses despite COVID. What a county where businesses can still make it even in a pandemic! That being said, we all need to shop local, folks! Who topped the category? It was a tough race but here were your top 3:
*Destination Coffee and Cuisine in Oakland
*Tillie’s Hair Salon and Boutique in Avoca
*Casa Mexicana in Avoca
Best Place to get Exercise in Rural Pott. County
Again, there was an enormous list of options for this category. In fact, we found out about a few we were unaware existed, but there was no question about the winners! Your top 3 were:
*Botna Bend in Hancock
*Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek/Crescent
*Walnut Community Center (Walnut)
Hidden Gem or Best Kept Secret of Rural Pott. Co.
Wow! I am in love with this category! So I found out about the Aeroplane Inn through this question and believe me, you’ll be seeing my blog about it sometime soon! And it’s always interesting to see what people come up with when this could be a roadside park, a place to eat, a landmark, or a store. So who got thought of? We had a tie for 3rd place so we have a top 4 in this category!
*Stanley’s Snack Shack in Honey Creek/Crescent
*The Dew Drop Inn in McClelland
*Dreamland Theatre in Carson
*El Sol Mexican Restaurant in Oakland
Friendliest Staff in Rural Pott. Co.
We all know that the most successful, long-time businesses are those that make customer service a priority and with employees so hard to come by these days, it’s a labor of love to make it happen! Who was recognized for doing just that?
*El Sol in Oakland
*Avoca Flower Shop (Avoca)
*Garcia’s Family Mexican Restaurant in Underwood
*Shelby Vet Clinic (Shelby)
Best Long-Time Business (25 years or older) in Rural Pott. Co.
Let me just say that we are blessed with a treasure trove of businesses that could be included in this category. It’s easy to lose track of just how long they’ve been around and each one is special. This category warms my heart. I don’t know that we did it justice with all those that could be added, but we had a lot of ties in this category, and I couldn’t leave them out! Here are your top 6:
*Gress Locker in Hancock
*Embers in Avoca
*Olesen Auto in Avoca
*Hotze Tree Service in Carson
*Rubacks Grocery Store in Oakland
*Shear Designs by Mischa in Oakland
Best Place to take the Family during COVID
What a category! I actually was quite surprised by this one. I was expecting a lot of outdoor, recreational facility answers and what showed up was an interesting combination of outdoor places and businesses that handled the hard times with the best of them. Winners included:
*Edgington Memorial Park in Avoca
*Dairy Queen in Oakland
*Botna Bend in Hancock
*Walnut Splash Pad (Walnut)
*El Sol in Oakland
Best Ambience in Rural Pott. Co.
Décor counts according to this list! Here are your top 3:
*B Restored in Walnut
*Buck Snort in Oakland and Neola
*The Bar’N and Grill in Carson
Best Pivot due to COVID by a Rural Pott. Co. Business, Person, or Organization
I have to say I learned a whole lot of things that happened through the write-in section on this category! I would have loved to have broadcast a few of them like Treynor setting up little mini food pantries like the little libraries all over town! What a great plan!
I can’t say enough about all the ones that came up in this category. 2020 was a rough year and Pott. Co. rose to the occasion! So proud of all that put their efforts into helping us get through a pandemic!
We also had a tie for 2nd place on this one, so here are the top 4:
*Vicki Palmer of Oakland sewed 5200 masks to give away to medical staff, school staff, and residents
*The Exchange in Avoca did take-out pizzas
*The Back Forty in Macedonia did Meals on Wheels for patrons in the Henderson and Riverside Area
*Silos in Treynor did Friday Night Pizza Takeout Nights with $1 donations to a nonprofit each week
It makes me so happy to see our county doing its best! These were the best of the best this year! There’s always next year! So thank you all for voting and making Pott. Co. the place to be! This year definitely make it obvious that we should shop local because they were there for us in 2020.
PS – A shout-out to Kim Wise! She is the winner of The Dew Drop Inn gift card for participating in the survey!