Island family businesses honoured for longevity service excellence

Family firms in the construction, grocery and tourism sectors were recognized by the Family Business Association of Vancouver Island’s annual awards this week.

Held via online video Wednesday night, the annual awards recognized both longevity and service excellence for a trio of long-standing Victoria firms.

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Butler Bros. Supplies and Pepper’s Food Store took home this year’s Family Business Excellence Award, while Elspeth McGillivray from Prince of Whales Adventures was named the Family Business Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Butler Bros., which started in the 1930s as a trucking company, has evolved over the last nine decades, and is now two firms — Butler Concrete and Aggregate and Butler Properties.

Pepper’s Food Store, helmed by second-generation owner Cory Davits, was founded in 1962 and has grown to be a full-service grocer.

“Our goal is to maintain the small community-store feeling while providing all the services of the larger chain store,” said Davits.

McGillivray is also the second generation at the controls, as the director of operations of the whale-watching and adventure tours company started by her father, Alan, in 1983. The younger McGillivray is responsible for three Prince of Whales operations and North Island Kayak.

The annual awards recognize youth leadership and promote achievements of Vancouver Island family businesses and their contributions to their communities.

Previous Family Business Excellence winners include the Wilson’s Group of Companies, Capital Iron and Country Grocer.

Previous Young Entrepreneur winners include Erin Boggs of Robinson’s Outdoor Store, Daisy Klaibert of Beacon Hill Wealth Management and Andrew Wilson of Wilson’s Group.

aduffy@timescolonist.com

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