Friday, May 29, 2009

2009 Family Enterprise of the Year

Congratulations to the Bragg Group of Companies from Oxford, N.S., which yesterday was named the 2009 Family Enterprise of the Year by the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE).

The award, sponsored by KPMG Enterprise and Royal Bank, recognizes significant achievement in a family enterprise.

The luncheon featured insightful presentations from three finalist companies: the Bragg family, represented by Matthew Bragg, Director of Sales in the Food Group; Toronto-based Pizza Nova, represented by founder and president Sam Primucci,and Jarlette Health Services, a manager of long-term care facilities based in Midland, Ont. It was represented by second-generation president David Jarlette.

In a release, Matthew Bragg commented that, “The recognition of family as the core of our business really makes this a special honour. We are very proud of our history and equally excited about our future.”

(Seriously, why do people write such boring press releases? Watch upcoming issues of the Financial Post for an interview with the Braggs, where I hope to bag better quotes than that.)

All three family finalists deserved their honours. Who knew Oxford controls 40% of the world’s wild blueberry market? Or that Pizza Nova has more than 100 locations in southern Ontario, the U.S., Cuba and… Romania?

“It was the most difficult year to judge we have ever had,” said CAFÉ CEO Lawrence Barns. “The Bragg family is certainly a deserving recipient for this award and a model of a thriving family business.”

John Bragg is the fifth generation of family entrepreneurs based in Cumberland County, NS. He represents the first generation in Oxford Frozen Foods and the related businesses he founded in 1968. All four children of John and his wife Judy are involved in the family business.

CAFE is a great organization. Founded in 1983 by 14 entrepreneurs who believed family businesses share unique challenges, CAFE now has 14 chapters across Canada. If you have a family business (and most businesses qualify), consider signing up.

Your kids will thank you. Maybe even your parents.

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