On March 30, 2016, Higgins Event Rentals was honoured as Central Ontario's 2016 Family Enterprise of the Year Award recipient at a luncheon held at Nova Ristorante in Scarborough. Guests enjoyed a delicious Italian buffet, cake from past FEYA winner Longo's, and a chance to network and converse with fellow CAFE members in a relaxed, intimate environment.
CEO John Higgins shared his family business story, which originated with his parents Denis and Peggy Higgins in 1982. This husband and wife team who began a small and humble business in Toronto over 30 years ago, has grown into a devoted family operation with 4 sons, 1 daughter and over 60 employees, with a new generation on the horizon. John and his brother Dave Higgins discussed how strong family values, including a commitment to treating staff like family and being involved in their communities, and hard work have led to Higgins Event Rentals earning a reputation as one of the premier party rental and event design companies in the GTA.
On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Longo's was recognized and celebrated as the Central Ontario 2015 FEYA Recipient at the Longo’s Southeast Oakville location. It was a rare opportunity to hear the family story behind this wildly popular Canadian family grocery chain and attendees were able to participate in a Longo’s Cooking Demonstration too! The scrumptious lunch consisted of a fresh inspired custom buffet, featuring Longo’s products and included your choice of a glass of Ontario wine or craft beer.
A family-owned organization, Longo’s first opened its doors in Toronto in 1956 and now boasts 27 stores across the GTA. Longo’s locations include 4 small format stores, The Market by Longo’s and GroceryGateway.com, the leader in online sales of home delivered groceries. Longo’s employs nearly 5,500 team members, including 15 Longo Family Members!
The CAFE Family Enterprise of the Year Award recognizes significant achievement made within a Canadian family enterprise based on history, achievements, corporate image and organizational culture, and acknowledges the importance of the family enterprise in today’s changing economy.
As the founding chapter, CAFE Central Ontario members have been celebrated since the Family Enterprise of the Year Awards were first presented.
Recent CAFE Central Ontario Chapter Recipients include:
2013 - Dempsey Corporation
2012 - Basadur Applied Creativity
2011 - Mother Parkers Tea and Coffee
2010 - Gerrie Electric
2009 - Pizza Nova
2008 - Peekaboo Child Care
In the past, many CAFE Central Ontario Recipients have gone on to National acclaim including:
2004 - Samuel Son & Co. Limited
2002 - Cardinal Meat Specialists
1990 - Rogers Communications Inc.
1989 - The Pioneer Group
1988 - Tilden Rent-A-Car
1986 - E.D. Smith & Sons Ltd.
In 2013, CAFE Central Ontario was proud to announce Dempsey Corporation as the Recipient of the prestigious Family Enterprise of the Year Award presented by award sponsors BMO Private Banking at The Family Business FORUM on Tuesday April 23. They went on to be a National Finalist.
Pictured above - Frank Dempsey (Left) and Benjamin Dempsey (Centre) of Dempsey Corporation with Ian Niven of Sponsor BMO Private Banking (right)
A unique opportunity arose in 1954 for Frank E. Dempsey to start his own business distributing specialty chemicals for the paint industry. He knew it wouldn't be easy to start his own business back then, especially with a young family of 8 children to look after. In the beginning the whole family helped out, with his wife and eldest children running the back office which was initially located at the family's residence.
Today, with over 70 employees, Dempsey Corporation is a full-service distributor of specialty chemical products and food additives. We have focused our efforts on building a comprehensive product line across our three divisions; specialty food ingredients, specialty industrial chemicals, skin care and promotional gift-with-purchase products. Our headquarters is located in Toronto, with branch offices across Canada, and wholly owned subsidiaries in the USA and France. The family's active involvement in the operation of the business continues to this day, as already a team from the third generation is now part of the success of the company.
"I am very proud to be receiving this recognition from CAFE. This is a testament to the exceptional dedication and hard work the three generations of family members have shown over the nearly 60 years of our company's successful history."
Bowes Dempsey, President
Congratulations to Dempsey Corporation!