In 2018, the Yelm Chamber of Commerce wanted to create a way to honor and celebrate our member businesses in specific categories, for the work that they’ve done. We convened a group to curate the Yelm Chamber Business Awards. This group came up with criteria, categories, award names, and put out the request for nominations. They came flooding in and we knew that we had something special that would only grow year over year. Today, we are awarding our fourth group of Yelm Chamber Business Award winners. These winners join an incredible group of businesses who have worked tirelessly over the years to improve our community, beautify their storefronts, protect the environment, start their businesses, stand the test of time to make their businesses last, and show what an exemplary leader in our community looks like.
The Wagon Wheel Commitment to Community Award recognizes a business or organization who goes above and beyond to give back to their community in a noticeable and impactful way through innovation, event creation, and/or community outreach.
The 2021 Wagon Wheel Commitment to Community Award nominees are:
America’s Credit Union
The winner of the 2021 Wagon Wheel Commitment to Community Award is:
Congratulations to Grocery Outlet for the Wagon Wheel Commitment to the Community Award. Grocery Outlet has shown exceptional leadership in their work to amplify the impact of our nonprofit organizations. There isn’t a nonprofit in Yelm that hasn’t benefited from the efforts of Greg and Stefanie Vinyard, whether it’s allowing the Rotary to use their space to pack weekly food bags for the 10 weeks of summer program, partnering with Learners without Limits to purchase holiday meals for hundreds of low income families, partnering with Yelm Community Schools on clothing drives and giving trees to benefit families in need, sponsoring events at Prairie Days, or sponsoring and donating items at any number of other organizations. They’ve also committed to donate a portion of their sales through different fundraising events to benefit local students, including programs through Dollars for Scholars and YCS. Before Grocery Outlet, an incredible amount of volunteer hours were spent finding storage space, or scrambling to several different stores to purchase hundreds of the same product due to item limitations. Every year it’s been a challenge to piecemeal everything together, even before the pandemic, and what Grocery Outlet has done to simplify purchasing and storing food has been remarkable. They have not only saved countless volunteer hours, but they’ve also allowed organizations to spend their energy creating new programs that benefit even more people in the community.
Grocery Outlet joins Yelm Prairie Christian Center, Pizzeria la Gitana, and Olympia Federal Savings as recipients of this award.
The Pride of the Prairie Award recognizes a business or organization who has made major strides towards the beautification and improvement of their storefront.
City of Yelm’s Public Works Department
Masonry Café & Catering
Yelm Middle School
And the 2021 Pride of the Prairie Award winner is:
In 2019 when Joshua Crossman took the keys to his building on Railroad ST in Yelm, on Thanksgiving Day, he took a tired building, in a sleepy area, and made it his own. He livened it up with a bright coat of paint, he cleaned up the landscaping, clearing away years of overgrowth and neglect. He drew attention to his building by participating in community events like Selfie Spots and Yelm Chamber’s Drive 507 Business After Hours, where he invited other business professionals to see the work he’s done inside as well, which has transformed the grocery store turned secondhand store into a beautiful display of everything that can be done through wood flooring and hard work.
PTL Flooring joins The Crowe Law Office, Shiplap Shop & Coffee House, and Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity as recipients of the Pride of the Prairie Award.
The Nisqually Award recognizes a business or organization who demonstrates a dedication to the environment by implementing practices and policies that are environmentally friendly.
The 2021 nominees are
And the 2021 Nisqually Award winner is:
Bliss Experience demonstrates daily their dedication to the environment with their consistent intentions to be as natural and eco-friendly as possible, from recycling to homemade laundry detergent, striving to be free of chemicals, dyes and artificial fragrances, to using the Aveda product lines and implementing their environmental practices. They have made Aveda’s mission their own as they take on the ‘environmental leadership and responsibility’ mentioned to our local level, including recently by committing to take on a majority of McKenna during Pretty City Day. They truly strive to ‘…care for the world we live in’, from the products they use and the services they offer. Every year they work hard to support other local businesses and raise funds and awareness for Earth Month and best environmental practices.
Bliss Experience joins South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity, Bounty for Families, and South Sound Solar as recipients of the Nisqually Award.
Mount Rainier Award recognizes a new or emerging business or organization who has opened in the last five years and is demonstrating sustainability and success within our community
The 2021 Mount Rainier Award nominees are:
Baines Famous Kettlecorn
Funtime Toys & Gifts
Red Lantern Asian Fusion
The 2021 Mount Rainier Award winner is:
Baines Famous Kettlecorn
Yelm is lucky to have such an amazing business in the community. They are often seen outside Yelm businesses popping amazing Kettlecorn for special events and pop-up shows. They are seen at Local High School Games, Movies in the Park, Nisqually Valley BBQ Rally and Prairie Days to name a few. They also have a “give back” mentality that the Yelm Community is so blessed to have. They volunteer often and would do anything to help a friend in need. The Baines set the bar high as amazing Yelm Community and Yelm Chamber Members.
Baines Famous Kettlecorn joins Between Sisters Boutique, 507 Taproom & Filling Station, and Uptown Lounge as winners of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Mount Rainier Award.
The Legacy Award recognizes a business or organization that has been in existence for longer than 20 years, for its success, vitality, and longevity.
The 2021 Legacy Award nominees are:
Nisqually Valley News
Olympia Federal Savings
The 2021 Legacy Award winner is:
For over 100 years, Tim’s Pharmacy has been a staple in Yelm. They have offered superior customer service, a servant leadership mindset, and an attitude of gratitude for the community of Yelm. Their friendly staff is approachable, responsive, and attentive to your family’s pharmacy needs. While they’ve gone through changes in leadership over the past century, their commitment to our community has remained strong, creating a legacy for future generations and the future of Yelm.
Tim’s Pharmacy joins H&R Block, Mr. Dougs, and Stewart’s Meat Market as recipients of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Legacy Award.
The Fay Fuller Award is an individual award that recognizes an exemplary leader in a business or organization.
In the summer of 1887, just five years after her family left the East Coast to resettle in Tacoma, Fay Fuller, at age 17, made it her goal to someday climb Mount Rainier. Her first trip to Paradise inspired her to want to someday climb to the summit of the great peak; and to boldly go where no woman had gone before. Three years later, Fay was on her way to summiting the 14,411-foot mountain. With a charcoal blackened face and donning goggles; Fuller intent on reaching the summit on her own accord, refused assistance from her climbing partners.
While we don’t condone the refusal of teamwork and cooperation, this individual award honors the name of Fay Fuller, in her quest for greatness.
Cody Colt, Director of Public Services, City of Yelm
Dan Nicholson, CEO, D Zines Creative Solutions & Graphic Design
Joy Hiebert, Owner, Bejoyful Holistic
Noah Aden, General Manager, Yelm Cinemas
Steele Clayton, Owner, Steele Clayton State Farm & Steele Barrel BBQ Company
And the 2021 Fay Fuller Award winner is:
If there’s an event in Yelm, and you’re smelling the sweet and smoky scent of BBQ, there’s a good chance that Steele is the man behind the grill. And if the event is a fundraiser, there’s a good chance that Steele is donating his time and efforts for the organization. Steele has been involved in organizations like Truly Motivated, donates to Yelm Dollars for Scholars and Rainier Education Foundation, Raise for Rowyn. Steele sits on the board for the Yelm Chamber of Commerce, offering his quiet leadership and comforting guidance. Steele helped coordinate the Fire Relief Fundraiser at the end of 2021, and is a staunch supporter of the Chamber’s Business Economic Recovery Taskforce.
In addition to all this, Steele leads his family, three businesses, and is an active participant in his church.
Steele joins Tad Stillwell, Chrissy Dehan, and Tracie Choate as recipients of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Fay Fuller Award
Congratulations to all of the 2021 Chamber Business Award nominees and winners.