The votes are in, and Melissa Butler is $25,000 richer. After several weeks of nationwide voting, the owner of Real Food Market — St. John’s first organic grocery and delivery service — has been crowned runner-up of the Business Development Bank of Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Its cash prize is $25,000 + valuable BDC consulting services.

As a press release wrote, “Melissa is tackling poor health one customer at a time in a province with the highest rates of obesity and related illness in the country. She retails fresh organic produce, organic and grass-fed meats, wild fish, vegan and vegetarian foods, and gluten-free options through her store and home-delivery business. But with Newfoundland’s short growing season, and the challenges of shipping from the mainland, sourcing fresh produce year-round remains a challenge. Melissa wants to engage in multi-step effort to create a sustainable food system on the island.” This project of hers was also runner-up for The Overcast’s Albedo Grant. Her goal is “to create a year-round greenhouse production and farm-to-table food system and build a commercial kitchen for prepared fresh food.”

1st Place, $100,000 winner was Fellow Atlantic Canadian Company, Spring-Loaded Technology

Spring Loaded Technology co-founders Chris Cowper-Smith and Bob Garrish took 1st place for developing the world’s first compact and light-weight bionic knee bracing technology that can “augment the user’s mobility while enhancing the strength and power of the quadriceps.”

For athletes, the technology is designed to offer reduced fatigue, heightened endurance, and increased performance. For individuals with knee injury, osteoarthritis, or a disability, the technology is focused on increasing mobility, reducing joint compression, and reducing pain. The $100,000 cash injection will go toward making the technology affordable and accessible to those that really need it.