First Ontario 1 Awards Winner!


Wow! We are so thrilled to have won a 1Award from FirstOntario Credit Union this morning, alongside two other amazing Hamilton businesses –Gameopolis and Blackbird Studios!

Our total award is $46,667 in in-kind services from FirstOntario, The Hamilton Spectator, PLAY Advertising, & Mohawk College. We look forward to the exciting ways this achievement will allow us to grow The Mustard Seed, and develop new and wonderful ways to provide local food options to Hamilton shoppers!

Here is the short video on the story of The Mustard Seed that we shared with the judging panel as part of our 10 minute pitch about how we would use the funds.

More about the Award

FirstOntario Credit Union’s 1Awards competition puts the spotlight on local small business growth Three local businesses share $150,000 in cash and in-kind services. “As a credit union, we really put a focus on small and medium-sized businesses because we know they are a huge driver of our economy,” said James Lefebvre, Associate Vice President Business Services at FirstOntario Credit Union. “This is really a celebration of how they contribute to our community. There are so many great businesses right here in our own backyard and we continue to support and encourage them. ” Blackbird Studios is a designer Canadian label with a shop on James Street North. Gameopolis is Hamilton’s first board game lounge on King Street East and the Mustard Seed Co-op is a co-operatively owned grocery store on York Boulevard.

The winners faced a tough battle as they competed in a group of 10 successful Hamilton small business finalists. The finalists presented to a panel of judges at the end of April and shared ideas about growth and future success in our community. This year’s competition saw a record 41 applications from Hamilton and Burlington entrepreneurs. FirstOntario and 1Awards partners have invested over $650 thousand dollars into Hamilton’s small business landscape. FirstOntario and The Hamilton Spectator put on the competition in partnership with Agro Zaffiro LLP, KPMG, Mohawk College, Weever Apps, PLAY Advertising and Biz Magazine. The 1Awards is just one of the ways FirstOntario continues to encourage small business development in Hamilton and Niagara. Credit unions are ranked as the preferred lender to small businesses by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ Battle of the Banks Survey 2013.

Thank you to FirstOntario for organizing this award, we look forward to putting it into good use!

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