More than 400 people — business owners, employees and guests — filled Saint Martin’s Marcus Pavilion on Wednesday to participate in the Best of South Sound, The Olympian’s longtime business awards.
Best of South Sound is more than 20 years old. For the past five years, The Olympian has worked with the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce to host and co-sponsor the event.
People voted on 133 categories through The Olympian website, which attracted more than 66,000 votes. Not all awards could be announced Wednesday, so The Olympian advertising staff distributed about 100 first-place awards during the luncheon.
Among the winners Wednesday:
▪ Best waiter/waitress location: Karisa Serella, Nisqually Red Wind Casino. Serella, a longtime waitress, has worked at Red Wind for about a year. She works the graveyard shift: 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. “You need to be fast. You need to remember drink orders. And it’s always, always, always about customer service,” she said.
▪ Best recreational cannabis store: 420 Carpenter, on Carpenter Road between Pacific Avenue and Martin Way. Owner Chad Champagne, who is set to open his third store in Thurston County, employs 45 people. “It’s about doing right for the customer,” he said. “Let’s give them the best product possible.”
▪ Best window cleaning (A first-time category): Window Genie of Olympia. Window Genie, a commercial window cleaning service, has been in business for three years. “We have the right equipment, right people, right uniforms and we wrap vehicles,” said owner Spencer Zeman about their window cleaning services. “We always do it right and provide the best customer service.”