MARIA DeNardi, owner of Mondo Foods Co. Ltd., was the winner of the Overall Excellence and Lifetime Achievement awards at the 18th annual Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur of the Year event on Thursday night.
Started in 1972 by DeNardi and her family, Mondo Foods has grown into a Winnipeg food empire of sorts.
Mondo Foods is an importer and distributor of speciality foods from around the world to wholesalers, retailers and restaurants.
The growing family business also includes La Grotta del Formaggio (a cheese store and grocery), La Boutique del Vino wine store and the innovative Piazza di Nardi.
About 450 people attended the gala event last night at the Fairmont Hotel that celebrates the accomplishments of women entrepreneurs. They are a growing economic force across the country representing a larger share of the self-employed than in any other country.
Women are owners in 45 per cent of Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses and contribute more than $18 billion annually to the Canadian economy.
In addition to DeNardi's award, the following winners were announced in eight other categories:
-- Cheryl Baynton, Pantages on Park (Brandon) -- Impact on Local Economy;
-- Mariette DeGagné, VariTech Systems Inc. -- Building Business;
-- Katherine Devine, kisquared -- International Trade;
-- Doreen Gauthier, Make It Home Ltd. -- Home Enterprise;
-- Johanna Hurme, 5468796 architecture inc. -- Emerging Business;
-- Brenda Parr, Sylvan Learning Centre -- Franchisee;
-- Deanna Pentland, FittWell Centre (Morden) -- Excellence in Service;
-- Terry Sakiyama, Patal Vocational Preparation Schools Ltd. -- Contribution to Community.