Nutters owner looks back on the store’s opening at Legacy Lunch

Janine Favreau speaks at the Legacy Lunch at the Coronet Hotel on Mar. 6, 2020. -- Jayda Taylor/Daily Herald

Janine Favreau never imagined she’d win the Legacy Award looking back on the day Prince Albert’s Nutters opened 36 years ago.

“We planned so carefully for this perfect autumn opening of our Nutters store back in 1984 and Mother Nature had other things in mind, like an early snowstorm.”

That’s how she began her speech at the Legacy Lunch on Friday at the Coronet Hotel. Of course, being recognized as a longtime pioneer business person, the opening day and the years that followed were successful.

“We went ahead and opened our doors that day with fingers crossed, in the snow,” said Favreau. The snowfall was so heavy, she explained, that staff couldn’t even exit the back of the building.

“The Prince Albert community ignored the snow and gifted us with a giant box of chocolates after all.”

The annual Legacy Award, presented by the Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Scotiabank, began back in 1991. The first ever recipient was Athabasca Airways founder Floyd Glass.

In the years to follow, the Chamber recognized dozens of prominent business leaders in the city. These include Harold Guy, Art Hauser, Barry and Donna Dutchak, Malcolm Jenkins and Frank Dunn.

In addition to being a longtime business person, the recipient must be responsible for a major development in the city who may not qualify for other Samuel McLeod Business Awards.

Although Favreau is this year’s recipient, she credits her husband Ron for much of Nutters’ success.

“He would visit Nutters in Medicine Hat when we used to live there. Fate brought him the opportunity to work with a contractor to build a newly franchised Nutters location,” she said.

“After Ron’s involvement with the construction, he knew there was an opportunity waiting for us to buy our own franchise and we would come back home.”

Favreau said it seemed like a business promoting a healthy lifestyle “would have legs.” It first opened as a bulk health foods store, but has since expanded to include natural food, vitamins and herbs.

She said when her neighbouring business decided to move locations, she and Ron had the opportunity to expand the store by 2,750 square feet.

“We made the decision to expand our floor size (and) renovate and modernize our existing space. Without, again, my husband Ron taking on the design and general contracting, I would not have had the time in my work schedule to take the project on,” said Favreau.

“We’ve recently completed our expansion,” she explained, “and have positioned ourselves to move into the next half decade as we aim for 40 years.”

She brought her hands up to her head, in disbelief that it’s nearly been four decades.

“We could have never envisioned the outcome when we started on that snowy day. In fact, it’s hard to believe that it’s even been 36 years. A person doesn’t want to think it’s been 36 years.”

Coun. Don Cody brought greetings on behalf of the City of Prince Albert. He called Favreau his “great personal friend and colleague,” referencing when he owned a bakery.

“(The Favreaus) are tremendously good business people. If anyone could stay in that kind of a business, so to speak specific business, for the 36, 37 years, you have got to be doing something right,” he said.

The Chamber also announced the finalists for this year’s Samuel McLeod Business Awards at the Legacy Lunch of Thursday. Cody congratulated them, saying even if they don’t win, it’s still a huge accomplishment.

“Whether you’re picked or not picked, you are at least nominated and that’s already a great award.”

The awards gala—when the winners are announced—takes place on Apr. 2 at the Ches Leach Lounge.

Chamber of Commerce announces business awards finalists

Businesses new, old, small and large will be celebrated in Prince Albert on April 2.

That’s the day of the annual Samuel McLeod Business Awards, a “celebration of the exceptional businesses growing and operating in Prince Albert and District,” the Chamber of Commerce said in a press release.

The awards are open to all private sector enterprises based in the district. All applications were forwarded to the chamber office for sorting and processing before being judged anonymously and independently.

Finalists were announced on March 6. The awards gala will be held at the Ches Leach Lounge.

Business Transformation Award (Sponsored by Ministry of Trade and Export Development)

  • Gem Denture Clinic Inc. 
  • Killarney Kastle 
  • Pine Industries Marketing Ltd. 

Community Involvement (Sponsored by Sasktel)

  • Lake Country Co-op 
  • Prince Albert Winter Festival 
  • Ziebert Plus Uniglass 

Customer Service Award (Sponsored by RBC)

  • Candle Lake Resort 
  • Carlton Trail Hearing Clinic 
  • G&P Plumbing and Heating

Female Business Leader of the Year (Sponsored by Northern Lights Casino (SIGA))

  • Carol Gregoryk – Saskatchewan Health Authority 
  • Mona Selanders – Coronet Hotel
  • Shelley Gordon – Ziebert Plus Uniglass 

Male Business Leader of the Year (Sponsored by TD Bank)

  • Fred Matheson – Ted Matheson Men’s Wear 
  • Jim Southem – Prairie Cannabis 
  • Joe Weinrich – Riverside Dodge 

Marketing (Sponsored by Loraas)

  • Candle Lake Resort 
  • E.A. Rawlinson Centre for the Arts 
  • Prince Albert Winter Festival 

New Venture (Sponsored by Conexus Credit Union)

  • Hope’s Home 
  • Prince Albert Kinsmen Club 
  • Prince Albert Indian and Métis Friendship Centre  

Young Entrepeneur (Sponsored by Community Futures)

  • Brock Walters & Cody Walker – Prairie Brothers Construction Ltd. 
  • Cody Demerais – Limitless Gear 
  • Jeremia Corrigal – Underground Performance Ltd. 

Business of the Year (Sponsored by Diamond North Credit Union)

  • G&P Plumbing and Heating
  • Lakeland Ford 
  • Lehner Electric