Vernon Chamber names Rusty Spur 'Small Business of the Year,' and they have plans to grow

Small business for now

Tracey Prediger

An award-winning North Okanagan small business has its sights set on growth.

Vernon's The Rusty Spur opened up a new larger location for their pet, farm and feed store in Lumby in August and they have also been named Small Business of the Year by the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.

Owner Stuart Anderson applauds the Chamber for making the Business Excellence Awards possible and truly appreciates the process.

“I’d like to thank the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce for the process that you go through for this award. “A lot of people might not know that once someone nominates you, you fill out a very detailed questionnaire for them and then it goes to an independent panel of judges,” he explains.

The judges are made up of business owners, service providers and professionals within the community making the award even more meaningful for Anderson.

Since buying both the Enderby and Lumby locations of the Rusty Spur almost five years ago, Anderson and his wife have not only opened a larger Lumby location, they have hired more staff. What was once a one-employee operation has now grown to 11 full-time positions.

Throughout their growth, Anderson and his wife have seen the benefits from their membership with the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.

“They’re well connected in the political arena, and with all their contacts. It’s a really good way to connect with other businesses and get a real vibe for what’s going on in the marketplace," he said.

"We spend a lot of time networking with other businesses of all sizes so that we can share ideas, bounce ideas off, teach, learn and it’s something that’s a real presence in our business.”

Anderson considers The Rusty Spur to be a solution-based business.

“If we can improve the safety, health or nutrition of even one animal or pet, that’s what we are here to do, we’re not here to sell product.”

But that doesn’t mean expansion is out of the question. In fact, Anderson hopes the next five years will see up to eight more Rusty Spur locations throughout the Okanagan with the hopes of being nominated for Large Business of the Year one day.

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