Grandma’s Beach Treats was named business of the year Saturday at the Wasaga Beach Chamber of Commerce business award ceremony.
Named to convey the good old-fashioned products that it sells, Grandma’s Beach Treats is best known for its ice cream, caramel corn and butter tarts.
Owner Sylvia Bray said the recipe for her gourmet caramel popcorn is derived from one her husband’s grandmother used to make.
The pies and tarts are made onsite by baker Liz Mott. The popcorn is also made onsite and the fudge, peanut brittle, cookies, candy and other treats are carefully sourced from suppliers that make their products by hand, using simple old-fashioned ingredients.
Bray said she chose to sell Kawartha Dairy Company ice cream for the same reason – because it is made with fresh milk and cream. She is the only vendor in Wasaga Beach that carries the brand.
Bray and her husband, Mark Winegarden, bought the building that is home to Grandma’s Beach Treats at 1014 Mosley St., five years ago. Together they also own H.E. Carpet and Flooring, which operates out of the same building.
"It all began with the caramel corn," said Bray.
Grandma’s Beach Treats began four years ago, serving caramel corn. But Bray said they began expanding the menu to include slushies and continually brought in new products, which required them to expand the store.
Winegarden said they have always catered to their customers. He said the pie selection has increased to suit their customers, with some flavours being made on request.
The popcorn selection has increased as well and they now have about 30 flavours available and often mix and match.
Grandma’s Beach Treats is a family business, with Bray and Winegarden’s four children – all in their teens and early twenties – working in the business in some capacity.
Bray said they have an emphasis on customer service and although it is often busy in the summer and there are three to four people working to fill orders, every customer receives a friendly greeting upon entering the store.
Winegarden refers to Grandma’s Beach Treats’ products as an affordable luxury; something small with which to treat one’s self, especially the pies and tarts, which most people don’t make at home.
They offer a butter tart and coffee combo in addition to hot chocolate, ice cream floats and milkshakes.
Grandma’s Beach Treats opens daily at 9 a.m. and remains open until about 10 p.m. with the exception of Sundays when it opens at noon.
Other winners Saturday include Beach Design ‘n Print for tourism marketing, Dr. Susan Andrus of Wasaga Beach Veterinary Clinic was named entrepreneur of the year, Boston Pizza for corporate community involvement, Active Healthcare Centre was named professional service business of the year, Elmvale Jungle Zoo was named tourism business of the year, Beachfront Developments for site enhancement of the main beach area, Beverly Wood of Beverly’s On Main was presented the business ambassador award, Dr. Sarah Adams of Beach Chiropractic and Wellness Centre was given the Athena Award and the Osborne family, proprietors of the Jewel Box were presented the Gene Langevin Award.