A 50-year old Tahlequah institution was recently named the 2014 Downtown Business of the Year by the Oklahoma Main Street Center.
Meigs Jewelry was nominated by the Tahlequah Main Street Association and the award was presented during the 25th annual Main Street Awards Banquet, May 6, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
“We are extremely excited,” said Todd Mutzig, co-owner of Meigs. “This award says so much about not only us, but Tahlequah. It shows what other people and towns think about Tahlequah and all of the awesome things that are going on here.”
Local Main Street programs chose companies that represent the best commercial experience of the downtown area to be considered for the Downtown Business of Year award. The business must have been at least three years old by the end of December 2013. Panels of outside judges reviewed the entries and determined the winners.
Meigs was chosen for the final three in this category, but the winner was not announced until the awards banquet.
Almost 40 members of the Tahlequah community traveled to Oklahoma City for the banquet, and about 600 attended.
“It was so great to have so many people from Tahlequah go and show support for the businesses,” said Mutzig. “Tahlequah Main Street Association is dear to my heart. I’ve been a part of it since it started 13 years ago. I was president for three years and have worn many different hats.”
The Oklahoma Main Street Center announced the winners in 20 competitive award categories. Each award falls under one of the “four points” in the Main Street Approach: organization, promotion, economic restructuring and design. The Downtown Business of the Year award is in the Economic Restructuring category.
According to the Oklahoma Main Street Program website, “Economic Restructuring strengthens a community’s existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its economic base.”
Mutzig said he believes Meigs was selected because the store maintains relevance in this day and age. Even though Meigs is a business in a traditional setting, Mutzig said, it keeps up with today’s style and manner, and shows this through customer service, the store’s appearance, and its use of social media and websites.
He also credits the Meigs Jewelry employees.
“We have an amazing team. They train and work hard,” said Mutzig. “I believe that’s what sets us apart. They truly have heart for what they are doing. They take pride in the store, and that it is their store. That gives them the attitude to do the right thing.”
Meigs Jewelry opened in Tahlequah in 1960. In 1986, Meigs was purchased by long-time Tahlequah residents Al and Phyllis Mutzig. Their son, Todd, and his wife, Paula, took over the store in January 1998. Meigs Jewelry has been nominated in previous years, but this is their first Oklahoma Main Street award.
“We are very honored to have received recognition for a well-deserving business on our Main Street,” said Drew Haley, Tahlequah Main Street Association director. “Meigs Jewelry often sets the bar for others to follow and they certainly have done that in this case.”
Other downtown Tahlequah businesses nominated for awards were: The Dream Theatre, Best Adaptive Reuse Project; Drip (the Beverage Lab), Best Business Practices; and The Branch, Best New Business Downtown.
“These awards showcase the many outstanding volunteers, events and restoration projects taking place throughout all of Oklahoma,” said Linda Barnett, director of the Oklahoma Main Street program, in a press release. “Programs and communities continue to thrive because of the determination, hard work, and effort of many people. It is truly an honor to recognize the programs in this way.”
For more information about the Oklahoma Main Street Program, call 405-815-6552 or visit www.OKcommerce.gov/main-street. To learn more about the Tahlequah Main Street Association, call 918-431-1655 or visit www.DowntownTahlequah.com.