On Wednesday evening, the Hoboken district presented prizes for the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ for the first time. The awards went to Hoboken businesses that were noticed by Hoboken residents. The prize from the professional jury went to Quality Butchery Thyssen. Brasserie The Duke received the audience award. And Annik de Mey Optiek Juwelen Clockwork and Contact Lenses received the prize for Live Long Achievement.
In September, Hoboken residents were given the opportunity to nominate their favorite entrepreneur for the audience award. This resulted in 31 nominees, more than half of which had something to do with food or drink. Some of them have been active in Hoboken for more than 30 years. Others are just getting started, but clearly haven’t missed their entrance into the district.
“The Entrepreneur Awards are an appreciation for our Hoboken entrepreneurs, who are always there for their customers and give the best of themselves every day,” says district councilor Carolyn Krekels. “We are therefore pleased that a large number of Hoboken residents have cast their votes.”
A total of 3039 unique entries were received. The top three won 11.06, 7.3 and 7.2 percent of the votes respectively. So it was only a handful of votes that made the difference.
Chris Vervaet and Katrien Van Damme from Quality Butchery Thyssen won the prize from the professional jury. The collegiality and participation in many district competitions were the decisive factor. “We always try to put Hoboken in the spotlight with our products. That’s why it’s fantastic to win this prize. Our success is the fruit of years of hard work together as a family. My wife and I work in the store day in and day out and our four children also help out as often as they can.”
The Hoboken resident himself was asked for the audience award. Brasserie The Duke was selected as the winner in this category. “We are very happy to win the prize as a relatively young business,” says manager Gert Mentens. It is mainly a credit to our great crew who do great work every day. We opened just after the corona pandemic and we have invested a lot of time and money in the old Extra Time site. The result is an accessible location where people can enjoy good food and drinks. Our victory will certainly be announced this weekend.”
Annik de Mey Optiek Jewelry Clockwork Contact Lenses won prizes within the Life Time Achievement category. That family business has been around since 1965. family business. The positive and determined Annik is a beacon of confidence known far beyond Hoboken. During corona, out of necessity, she created an entire online service. Moreover, she was one of the spokespersons who always guaranteed smooth communication between the entrepreneurs and the contractor during the redevelopment of the Kioskplaats.