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Votes are sought from community to decide next Sandy area sensational business

As Sandy grows, so does the number of award-worthy businesses in town. In an effort to recognize those businesses that go above and beyond, the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the Sensational Business Award contest four times each year, inviting the public to nominate three businesses to face-off for the title.

This quarter, the community has chosen Mary Forrest with Hamburg Insurance, Dolly's Pet Shoppe and Mt. Hood Cigar Co. as its nominees.

The Post does profiles of the nominated businesses to better inform the community of its choices when voting for the next sensational business.

The deadline to vote is May 19.

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Mary Forrest insures everything from commerical enterprises to cars through Hamburg Insurance in Sandy. Insuring without limits

Mary Forrest has insured everything from businesses to personal property through Farmers for 19 years in Sandy. At her office on Proctor Boulevard, she said she tries to maintain an atmosphere of "yes."

"I don't like to tell my clients I can't do something," Forrest told The Post. "We like to do whatever we can to help them. The one thing I love about Farmers is we rarely have to say 'no.' If it can't be insured through Farmers, we are licensed with several other companies. We really want to help people, (and) everybody is treated the same."

As a self-proclaimed people person, Forrest said she enjoys not only helping people, but just getting to know them.

"I like helping people and making sure they have everything they need," she noted. "But I also feel like I some to work to socialize."

Forrest was "flattered" to have been considered for the chamber award.

"I love the hometown aspect of Sandy," she said of the community she's chosen to work and live in. "I know everybody and everybody knows me."

She noted that even if her clientele are familiar, her job is "never boring," which she appreciates.

"Every day you come to work and besides the humdrum claims you get these really out-there ones too," Forrest said.

In the greater community, Forrest has played several roles besides insurance agent. In her almost two decades in Sandy, she's coached youth softball, been on and off the chamber board, and supplied numerous raffle baskets for events.

"I think it helps Sandy as a whole (to volunteer)," Forrest noted. "I also just like to give a hand where a hand is needed."

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Anna Judd specializes in selling natural pet food and treats at Dolly's Pet Shoppe. Chew toys, small-town charm

Similar to Forrest, Anna Judd of Dolly's Pet Shoppe is community-oriented, though her focus extends to Sandy's four-legged community as well.

Judd has worked in pet retail for nearly 20 years, opening Dolly's about 14 years ago.

Recently, Judd hosted a Helping Paws pet food drive for Sandy's Helping Hands, and in the past has donated items for local raffles and pet food to the Sandy Community Action Center.

At its core, Judd added, the shop is about offering access to quality products to the community.

"I try to offer a better option for our pets," Judd said. "I think there's a real need for it." That need for natural pet food and treats in Sandy is exactly why Judd opened Dolly's. She was hearing stories from local pet owners of their long commutes to other cities to purchase natural pet food, and took it upon herself to make those products more accessible.

"It's rewarding to see people not have to travel far for quality food," Judd noted. "I'm pretty unique in that you don't see in my store what you're going to see in the grocery stores in town."

Judd was excited to learn that residents had voted her as a nominee for the Sensational Business award.

"I was trying to figure out who and why I was voted," she said. "I'm really grateful that someone thinks I'm worthy of being nominated."

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Dixie and Chris Bailey have owned Mt. Hood Cigar Co. for just over a year. Smoking the competition

Within a year of opening, Mt. Hood Cigar Co. has also made a name for itself. Being the new kids on the block, however, Chris and Dixie Bailey were excited and surprised to be nominated for the Sensational Business award.

"The community's so helpful," Dixie noted. "It's amazing to have so many great people in one small town."

Chris attributes the shop's success to the fact that they're "more involved in the community than most cigar shops."

"We're people people, " Chris said. "We enjoy smoking with people and talking to people. We're family friendly, too."

Though they run a cigar shop, the Bailey's try to attend events that are for everybody, and help out at or sponsor events for kids.

Last year they volunteered at the Kidd's Island Teriyaki Christmas dinner for children in need and hosted a booth at the Sandy Music Fair and Feast chamber event and at the Sweets and Wine fundraiser for the chamber. They both also serve on board for the charity Riders Needing Assistance, which offers financial help to families of injured motorcyclists, and they lead the new local chapter.

As a business, Mt. Hood Cigar Co. offers a more "boutique" cigar collection, as well as more mainstream staples.

The Baileys are happy to volunteer in the community because it helps raise awareness of their business, but they also enjoy having a business that has provided them an outlet to give back.


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