The Seneca County Chamber of Commerce and Sessler Companies recently presented the 2022 Small Business of the Year Award to Ovid Big M Supermarket. The award was presented at the Chamber’s Annual Membership Celebration sponsored by Lakeside Enterprises of the Cayuga Nation. Nearly 200 Chamber members and guests attended the event, held at The Vista at Seneca Lake Resorts on July 20.
“In addition to recognizing the Ovid Big M for their successful business operations, this award also honors the significant role they play in the local community,” said Chamber President Jeff Shipley.
Ovid Big M is a full-service grocery supermarket widely proclaimed by its customers as having “the Best Meat in Upstate New York”. Ovid Big M also offers catering, custom cakes, and daily specials that offer homemade prepared meals meant to offer convenience for busy customers and their families.
In 2020, Sue Cirencione became the sole owner of Ovid Big M, the business that her father founded in 1970. Under her leadership, Ovid Big M has brought increased opportunities to both customers and the local community.
The store is focused on being a healthy link between the agricultural industry and end-users through locally sourced produce. Its community outreach and funding has expanded to include a variety of organizations such as the South Seneca School, Thrive to Survive, Girl Scouts of America and many more. In 2021 a food truck, named Big D’s Grub Shack, was added to the store’s growing resources and it provides take-out dinners from the market’s parking lot. They also collaborated with a local vendor to create an additional food stand at the store – both of which have a regular presence at the community’s farmer’s market and serve this rural community which classifies as a food desert.
In March of 2022, the state of New York announced the closing of the former Willard Drug Treatment Center. The news had a direct impact on Ovid and the Big M responded in a big way. Cirencione and her team renovated space above the grocery store to provide an affordable housing option to former Willard employees. There are currently 10 former correctional employees housed at the Big M site.
Other finalists for the Small Business of the Year Award included: Café 19 (Seneca Falls), Kabari Wellness Institute (Seneca Falls), and Laundry Depot (Waterloo).
The Small Business of the Year award was developed by the Chamber in 2007 to recognize and celebrate the impact that small businesses have on local communities. Small businesses account for nearly 98 percent of all businesses in New York State – providing over 4 million jobs.
For more information about this event or for details about Chamber membership, benefits and programs, please call (315) 568-2906 or visit www.senecachamber.org.