WEST JEFFERSON-Recognition for outstanding customer service and continued contributions to the community were on tap Tuesday afternoon, as Boondocks Brewery of West Jefferson was honored as the 2016 small business of the year by the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce.
The niche brewery and restaurant was applauded by their peers during a special luncheon at West Jefferson United Methodist Church.
“It’s humbling,” said owner and brew master Gary Brown on the award. “It’s definitely great. The business we are in, 99 percent of the time is a kind of a thankless business. We don’t consider ourselves just as a restaurant and brewery. We are more in the service business and community involvement business. We are just thrilled to be here.”
From the kitchen to the brewery, Boondocks currently employs a core staff of 20 people although their numbers swell to workers during the more tourist driven months. Last year alone, the brewery issued 122 W2 forms.
“We try to teach them skills other just the restaurant (business),” said Brown. “We try to teach them hospitality. We try to teach how to deal with adversity… how to property escalate problems to management. (We teach them) some things that people in this area may not have had a chance to get accustomed to.”
Brewing savory lagers and grilling steaks to perfection were a passion turned career for Brown.
“The brewery was stuff I always wanted to be involved in,” said Brown. “I was just looking for something to do and some things just fell into place and it just felt right.”
In addition to quality customer service, Boondocks was also recognized for improvements to the aesthetic appeal of the downtown.
“We just had the means to make a difference and that’s what drives us,” said Brown.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.