By Madison Fisler Lewis
Feb. 11, 2015. The 2015 Blowing Rock Awards Ceremony and Luncheon, held Feb. 10 at the Green Park Inn, made yesterday a big day for Woodlands Barbecue and Pickin” Parlor. The local favorite took home the prestigious Blowing Rock Business of the Year Award, accepted by owners Butch and Gina Triplett.
“It feels great, super,” said owner Butch Triplett.
“My wife and I opened up in 1977, back then it was called The Grub Steak Saloon. Then in 1980, we took a partner Jim Houston and we became Woodlands.”
Triplett said that it was his business” tradition of giving back to the community that led to the restaurant receiving the award.
“I think a lot of it was the charity work that we do,” he said. “Anytime someone has a hardship in Blowing Rock, we try to have a fundraiser for them and we do that quite often. We do a lot of stuff with the Hunger [and Health] Coalition, and a lot of stuff like that. We have had such a successful business and done so well, so it is a pleasure to give back to the community if we can.”
In the past, Woodlands has won other awards, including the New Construction award after the original building burned down, and numerous community service awards.
“We would do what we do even without the awards, but it is nice to be recognized,” he said.
Aside from the Business of the Year award, the event featured numerous other awards throughout the luncheon. The awards and the respective winners are as follows:
- Commercial Renovation/New Construction Award – Mellow Mushroom Pizza of Blowing Rock
- Cultural Enrichment Award – The Blowing Rock
- Service of the Community Award – Ron Cutlip
- Winter Wonderland Lighting Award – Chetola Resort
- Customer Service Star Winners: Molly Shanly of Produce and Provisions and Charlie Day of VPC Builders
- Volunteer Of the Year Award – Peggy Weltz
- Jerry Burns Ambassadorial Award – Ginny Stevens
- Special Recognition Award – Town Manager Scott Fogleman
- Economic Impact Special Recognition – Appalachian Ski Mtn.
“We had just under 140 people attending the event this year, which is about the same as last year,” said Terri Bailey, membership services coordinator at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.
Though the attendance for the event was on par with the normal attendance, the Chamber saw nominations for awards this year skyrocket.
“This was the first year that we had nominations and voting for the awards online and the response was just wonderful,” she said. “In the past, we basically had a link and people could print out the form and mail it or bring it in to nominate people for awards. I think it was easier for people to do it this way, and we got many more nominations this year using the online system than we have received in the past.”
At the end of the annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon, the event sponsor, Piedmont Federal Savings Bank, presented a check for $500 to Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S.
“They did it as part of their sponsorship,” Bailey said. “They wanted to donate something to the cause.”
Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S. (Children Area Really Extra Special) strives to help provide the basic needs such as food and clothing to families in need in the community.
“As the presenting sponsor of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Awards Luncheon, Piedmont Federal Savings Bank opted out of leaving branded keepsakes at the attendees’ place settings, instead choosing to donate money to a worthy cause,” Bailey said.
“A key mission of Piedmont Federal is to make a positive difference in the communities where we live and work. Representatives from the bank feel that Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S. has done so much to help feed the hungry in Watauga County; they just wanted to assist them in their efforts to feed more residents. When asked about the donation, Ginger Salt of Piedmont Federal Savings Bank commented, “We had a great time! What a wonderful community you have in Blowing Rock. We were delighted to make the donation to Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S.””
For more information about the annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon, click here.