On Tuesday, October 16, five finalists presented their business plans and stories to a panel of judges from the Elgin County Business and Economic Development community. They were competing for a grand prize of $11,000 in cash and in-kind support, including a website from Redding Design, marketing from Establish Media, HR services from Human Resources Partner 4 Business, and banking from Meridian Credit Union.

The showdown happened at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre – an appropriate setting as the winner of the competition operates on one of the main streets in Port Stanley. The finalists that were selected by the Elgin Business Resource Centre to present were Shebaz’s Shawarma & Falafel, Bayham Estate, Shore Bird Control, C.D. Engineering, and Otter Be Here.

Doris and Gabriel Chordekar of Shebaz’s Shawarma & Falafel were overjoyed to receive the award. “I was in tears,” Doris said simply. She credits the support from their small community in Port Stanley with their success, dedicating the award to all the locals that have come and supported them from day one. “This is not only Shebaz’s Shawarma, this is Port Stanley that has won, this is Port Stanley that has helped us to come and stand here.” The Chordekars are looking forward to using the many resources included in the grand prize to grow their business, including expanding to a new location with more seating.

Watch our interview with them here.

The Elgin Business Resource Centre exists to help businesses in Elgin County grow. As a Community Futures Development Corporation, they are part of a national network of not-for-profit, community-based organizations funded by the federal government. If you are looking for support in growing a current business or starting a new one, you can access their services by contacting them through their website.