In a year of business changes and challenges due to COVID-19 regulations, West Feliciana businesses large and small have had to be flexible and rework their business models.

In honor of this ingenuity and hard work in West Feliciana, the Chamber of Commerce hosted a banquet Nov. 19 at the recently remodeled Bluffs Clubhouse.

The Bank of St. Francisville was named Large Business of the Year. The category includes businesses with 20-plus employees. These businesses have demonstrated growth in employment, production, and/or operations and have a substantial history of success. The recipient has shown achievements, and community involvement through the commitment of time and resources, according to a news release. Other nominees were West Feliciana Hospital and Sullivan Dental Center.

Restaurant 1796 at the Myrtles was named Small Business of the Year. This includes businesses with one to 19 employees. These are businesses that are industry leaders in their respective market and have a history of success. Qualifying organizations exemplify strong business and civic leadership, community involvement, good management practices and financial soundness, providing a positive impact on the West Feliciana area. Other nominees were Patrick’s Fine Jewelry and Heirloom Cuisine.

The St. Francisville Inn was named new Business of the Year. This is for a business that started within the last two years in the community, demonstrates a high level of entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, perseverance, creativity and determination. Other nominees were El Mejor Restaurant and Anytime Fitness. 

Audubon Market was given the Community Champion Award. This is for businesses, organizations or individuals that have contributed time, devoted skills and efforts that positively impact the community. The recipient has enhanced the community through job growth, building or renovating a structure or by participating in other endeavors that benefit that community and its residents. Other nominees were District Mercantile and Child Advocacy Services.

Nikki Davis and David Voigt, owners of A Hint of Lime Tacos, were named Volunteers of the Year. This goes to individuals that have devoted significant time and efforts to community service initiatives as well as chamber-sponsored functions that positively impact West Feliciana. Other nominees were Aimee Cook, of Bank of St. Francisville; Missy Couhig, owner of The Conundrum; and Melissa Hall, volunteer for CAS.

James Fox-Smith, of Country Roads Magazine, was emcee. A live auction action was hosted by Clay Pinson, of Record Insurance Agency. Presenting sponsor for the night was Dr. Candice Sullivan, of Sullivan Dental Center, who spoke on the services Sullivan’s offers and shared about its upcoming medical spa treatments, including procedures like Botox.

Many award winners, including Jim Johnston, winner of New Business of the Year and owner of The St. Francisville Inn, spoke about the joys of being in St. Francisville.

“You don’t realize what a gem you have here in St. Francisville,” Johnston said. “We have traveled and lived all over but the support here in this town is truly amazing.”

Johnson and other winners, thanked Bank of St. Francisville and its efforts to work with businesses during the pandemic shutdown. 

“It was a great night to celebrate these businesses and their achievements,” said chamber President Ranee Rogers Voorhies. “We are excited for the direction the chamber is headed as we all strive for excellence for our parish.”