Last week, Barrington’s and Sugar Suite were announced as winners in the 25th annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence, hosted by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.

Barrington’s took home Oakville’s Business Icon Award, in recognition of almost 70 years in business. During a virtual awards ceremony, owner Paul Barrington thanked the Chamber for giving the prestigious award to a small business. “Small businesses provide 70 per cent of the jobs in Canada and it’s refreshing to see our efforts rewarded,” he said. “It is especially relevant now as the current pandemic highlights the value of our favourite shops and restaurants.”

Barrington’s opened in 1951, making it one of the longest standing retail stores in Downtown Oakville. Paul took over the store from his father, Robert, in 1992. Today, Barrington’s carries a wide range of luxury outerwear and accessories sourced from around the world, and now ships to customers in every province across Canada.

“We are so fortunate to be part of the Downtown Oakville community and we never take for granted that we have a business here. We are six months away from celebrating our 70th anniversary and despite the current challenges, I know there will always be a need for small business, as we are the flavour and heartbeat of every neighbourhood.”

Sugar Suite, meanwhile, took home the Visit Oakville Tourism Excellence Award. The bakery was credited with drawing tourists from across Ontario and beyond to Downtown Oakville in search of allergen-free and vegan options.

“To be recognized on this scale means so much to us and really goes to show how allergy-free foods are being so much more widely accepted and appreciated,” said owner Kenzie Goodall during her acceptance speech. “We’re so glad we’ve helped to bring new faces to Downtown Oakville to come see all the other amazing businesses and everything that this town has to offer.”

Other Downtown Oakville businesses that were nominated this year include Alex Irish & Associates, Sotheby’s (Bell Mid-size Business of the Year); Boa Boutique (The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award); Rebecca Pointon of SPINCO (KPMG Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year); and Bru Restaurant (Visit Oakville Tourism Excellence Award).

Congratulations to all nominees and winners!