St. Paul recognizes winners of second annual business awards


Image courtesy of Heritage Tea House Boutique's Facebook page

On April 5, the St. Paul City Council announced the winners of the Second Annual St. Paul Business Awards. The eight winners, and all the nominees and other businesses who choose to operate in St. Paul, were celebrated at the City Council meeting on April 11 with a reception following. The St. Paul Business Awards honor businesses in several categories based on nominations from the community.

The 2018 St. Paul Business Award Winners:

  • Morelli’s Market – Traditions Award (Honoring a business that has been active in St. Paul for at least 20 years)
  • Caydence Records and Coffee – New Kid on the Block Award (Honoring a business that has opened in St. Paul within the last five years)
  • Afro Deli – Large Business Excellence Award (Honoring a business with a staff of at least 50 that cares for its employees and the community)
  • A Backyard Farm – Small Business Excellence Award (Honoring a business with a staff smaller than 50 that cares for its employees and the community)
  • Eyes All Over – Alice O’Brien Award (Honoring a woman-owned business that is committed to equity and empowerment)
  • Hmong Elder Center – Reflecting St. Paul Award (Honoring a business owned by a person of color that is committed to equity and empowerment)
  • Heritage Tea House Boutique – People’s Choice Award (Honoring a business that is recognized for its excellence by St. Paul residents)
  • Wet Paint – St. Paul Open for Business Award Winner (A special award created by the Selection Committee to honor a business that exemplifies excellence across multiple award categories)

As part of the Open for Business initiative that began in 2016, the awards are another step in making St. Paul an even better place to do business. “This year’s process was very competitive and I am proud of the diverse businesses that were nominated and selected,” said Ward 1 Councilmember Dai Thao. “The Business Awards are evidence of the successes and commitment that businesses have in our city.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to celebrate this year’s award winners — as well as all of the many great nominees — who are not only building a strong and dynamic business climate in St. Paul, they’re deeply rooted in our communities on so many levels,” said Ward 2 Councilmember Rebecca Noecker.

“When the proliferation of chain stores starts to make all cities look alike, these award-winning one-of-kind Saint Paul businesses give our city its distinctive character and its competitive edge,” said Ward 7 Councilmember Jane Prince. “Congratulations to these businesses that place Saint Paul above the crowd!”

The selection committee that reviewed applications and selected winners was made up of business advisors from across the city and former award recipients. The selection committee included:

  • Brianne Hamm, Securian Financial Group
  • Ryan Huseby, Tongue in Cheek
  • Brenda Reid, Dayton’s Bluff Community Council
  • Bee Vang, Neighborhood Development Corporation
  • Roxanny Armendariz, Neighborhood Development Alliance
  • Ann Dejoy, East Side Neighborhood Development Company
  • Brook Dalu, African Economic Development Solutions
  • Kari Tierney, Highland Business Association

The People’s Choice Award, received by Heritage Tea House Boutique, was selected based on receiving the largest number of nominations from the community.

Find more information on the award criteria and process, visit