Former best of Huntsville recipients share benefits behind the award

Each year, The Houstonian surveys the public to vote for their favorite businesses on the newspaper’s website. The businesses with the most votes are granted the “Best of Huntsville” award in their respective categories, while yielding benefits beyond a certificate.

The Arbors of Sam Houston apartment complex earned its first Best of Huntsville award for 2014, which is proudly displayed on a banner in front of the complex’s club house.

“Having won this award attracts a lot of attention and has gotten people in our door,” property manager Helen Calhoun said. “It is so great that people voted for us. We were surprised when we were presented our certificate and then we had the banner made. I think that we get more people that want to live here because the sign stands out and they want to know why we were voted the best.”

The complex will be making renovations to its oldest buildings and updating them by next fall.

“We may not be the best looking on the outside but I don’t think that there’s an office in Huntsville that will give the attention and parental attention that we do,” Calhoun said. “We are keeping it a positive, hospitable environment for young people that are here every day and providing good customer service.”

The Arbors go above and beyond by not only housing many SHSU students, but by also providing select housing scholarships.

“What sets us apart is that we actually provide scholarships for young people wanting to live here as our way of giving back so about 15 to 20 residents basically live here for free,” leasing manager Kendall Scudder said. “I like to think that people want to live here, not just for the award, but the reason people consistently live here is because we provide positive service that isn’t replicated anywhere else in the community. We want to help them succeed and make sure we are there for them.”

Five Loaves Deli also received a Best of Huntsville award for 2014 to add to their collection. The deli is owned by SHSU alumnus whose five children also attended SHSU.

“We have gotten this award quite a few times, and I feel like it does bring in more business,” owner Judy Owens said. “We are always wanting to improve ourselves.”

The recipients of the Best of Huntsville award are chosen strictly by popularity measured through the survey. The winners are presented a certificate and are not told the voting results of other businesses.

“We show up to work every day and try to make sure our students have a home away from home,” Scudder said. “It means a lot that folks in the community recognize the hard work that we put in everyday for the young people in our community.”

The award is a way of recognizing the businesses that are standing out in the community.

“Winning this award means that we are doing a good job and people like us,” Owens said. “We love Sam Houston, and we love providing healthy and delicious food for all of the students while they are away from home.”

Voting for this year’s Best of Huntsville awards will begin Tuesday, Jan. 20.

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