Depot Nuevo Owners and Other Best Of 2016 Winners Embody Corporate Social Responsibility at the Local Level

Make It Better's Francia Harrington, Depot Nuevo Chef Hildy, owner Rob Garrison and Make It Better's Lynne Madorsky.

Make It Better’s Francia Harrington, Depot Nuevo Chef Hildy, owner Rob Garrison and Make It Better’s Lynne Madorsky.

Wilmette’s Depot Nuevo just won the Make It Better Best Of Dining Award for Best Mexican/Latin the third year in row and celebrated by treating the rest of this year’s winners to free margaritas and a festive gathering June 29, as part of our official Best Of 2016 Reveal Party.

Thank you Depot Nuevo and owners Rob and Ann Garrison!

Depot Nuevo owner Rob Garrison addresses Make It Better Best of 2016 Reveal Party guests.

Depot Nuevo owner Rob Garrison addresses Make It Better Best of 2016 Reveal Party guests.

The generosity behind this party is an excellent example of how the Garrisons run all of their businesses — including The Noodle restaurant and The Next Door Market by The Noodle. It’s one of the reasons our audience loves and votes for Depot Nuevo year after year too.

Generosity and gratitude long have been the Garrisons’ modus operandi. They appreciate and take good care of their employees, customers and community while serving great food. For example, the Garrisons take employees on a culinary inspiration trip to Mexico. In fact, Garrison says, the first trip was motivated by the restaurant’s first Make It Better Best Of win, and have kept it going because it was such a wonderful educational and inspirational experience.

Make It Better Associate Publisher Michelle Morris addresses Best of 2016 Reveal Party attendees.

Make It Better Associate Publisher Michelle Morris addresses Best of 2016 Reveal Party attendees.

From our perspective, their businesses are great local business examples of what good corporate social responsibility (CSR) should be.

PEOPLE, PLANET, PRODUCT

CSR often is defined in terms of “People, Planet, Product.” Does the business take care of its employees while creating useful products in a manner that does no harm to the environment? Is it a good community member, paying forward its success and enhancing the community in which it is based?

Increasingly, consumers expect a strong double bottom line. Their purchase has to support good as well as provide them with a good product. Shopping or eating local, patronizing a family-owned business that also supports other aspects of their community, is increasingly compelling.

Most of the Best Of 2016 winners are similar to Depot Nuevo. Most are locally owned and serve this community so well that they won a large number of the 168,000+ votes cast by you, our audience, this year. (Happy dance and a big thank you for this audience participation achievement!)

The team from JCC Chicago who won Best Day Camps and Best Overnight Camp.

The team from JCC Chicago who won Best Day Camps and Best Overnight Camp.

We’re happy that effective CSR is increasingly important nationally. But we’re particularly delighted that great local, family-owned businesses still thrive and provide examples that larger corporations should work even harder to emulate.

What is it worth for a business to win a Make It Better Best Of award? Rob Garrison says, “I think pride and satisfaction. It really matters to me to be able to say [to an employee], ‘Hey, you did a great job and here are people besides me saying it.’ I can compliment them in a sincere way and relish that feeling.”

He also says that winning the award is a good data point and allows him to keep highlighting the good things happening within his business even beyond the materials and marketing generated by Make It Better in conjunction with Best Of recognition.

The crew from A. Perry Homes, celebrating its fourth Best Of win.

The crew from A. Perry Homes, celebrating its fourth Best Of win.

What is it worth for us to have high-quality, family-owned businesses in our hometowns that good care of local employees and recognize and support our family, friends and other beloved institutions?

Please support Depot Nuevo and the other priceless community businesses that won Make It Better Best Of 2016 awards this year.

Thank you.

Depot Nuevo owner Rob Garrison chats with Make It Better's Francia Harrington, Wintrust's Ed Wehmer and Cathy Pratt.

Depot Nuevo owner Rob Garrison chats with Make It Better’s Francia Harrington, Wintrust’s Ed Wehmer and Cathy Pratt.

Make It Better's Julie Carter with Lake Geneva's Joe Tominaro.

Make It Better’s Julie Carter with Lake Geneva’s Joe Tominaro.

Classic Kids' Julie Floyd and chats with North Shore Community Bank's Liz Taylor.

Classic Kids’ Julie Floyd and chats with North Shore Community Bank’s Liz Taylor.

The Best Of Reveal Party also featured a birthday celebration for Dorothy Wehmer with a cake from Bent Fork Bakery.

The Best Of Reveal Party also featured a birthday celebration for Dorothy Wehmer with a cake from Bent Fork Bakery.

The crew from A. Perry Homes, celebrating its fourth Best Of win.

The crew from A. Perry Homes, celebrating its fourth Best Of win.

Make It Better's Francia Harrington with Richard Mesirow of Mesirow Financial.

Make It Better’s Francia Harrington with Richard Mesirow of Mesirow Financial.

Make It Better's Michelle Morris with Kim Launer and Sophia Kondos of Royal Travel & Tours, the 2016 winner for Best Travel Agent.

Make It Better’s Michelle Morris with Kim Launer and Sophia Kondos of Royal Travel & Tours, the 2016 winner for Best Travel Agent.

Business neighbors Mary Bowler of Wags on Willow and Andreas and Ashley Hogue of Andreas Hogue Salon.

Business neighbors Mary Bowler of Wags on Willow and Andreas and Ashley Hogue of Andreas Hogue Salon.

Donna West and Carrie Londe from Londo Mondo, Best Chicago Clothing Boutique.

Donna West and Carrie Londe from Londo Mondo, Best Chicago Clothing Boutique.

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