Retirement Living Blog

Tea & Toast’s Amy Friesen wins Businesswoman of the Year Award!

2019 is shaping up to be a truly amazing year for Tea & Toast CEO and founder Amy Friesen.

Earlier this year, she received the Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence from the Good Companions Centre. Then, she publicly launched her newest venture,

And most recently, Amy was recognized by the Women’s Business Network with the coveted Businesswoman of the Year Award in the Emerging Entrepreneur category!

Amy was among a dozen brilliant, successful and accomplished Ottawa businesswomen recognized at a gala celebration on April 9th at the Infinity Centre.  

“I was super humbled and completely awestruck by this award, which is a win for me as well as a win for the seniors’ industry,” says Amy.

See her acceptance speech here.

While Amy isn’t necessarily superstitious, she did notice a couple “signs” just hours before she was awarded the BYA in the Emerging Entrepreneur category.

First, her deceased grandmother’s ring (finally!) fit on her finger the night before the ceremony.

“My Nanny is why I work in this industry, I lost her when I was 15,” says Amy. “Her ring hadn’t fit me since I’d become pregnant with my daughter. And suddenly, two years later, I could slip it onto my finger.” (Yes, she wore it to the gala.)

The night before the awards gala, Amy noticed something else: a mention of Jean Pigott in the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce CAPITAL Magazine.

Jean, who died in 2012, was a well-known Canadian politician and businesswoman. She was also one of the first seniors Amy ever worked with. “Jean and her husband Arthur lived at the first retirement home I ever worked at, and I was very close to her and her family,” says Amy.

During the ceremony, Jean’s face showed up during a slide presentation as a previous BYA recipient.

“Seeing her twice in two days, I decided at the last minute to add Jean to my acceptance speech. After all, she was one of many seniors who shaped me wanting to be in this industry,” Amy says.

Moving forward, Amy plans to use the award to spread awareness about seniors and their needs.

“Despite seniors being a huge demographic, there’s still very little light shone on where they can go for help for their health, social and other needs,” she says. “There are still so many unknowns out there for seniors when it comes to knowing what services are available out there.”

“I’m trying to be a visionary by creating ways to make it easier for seniors to access information and services,” she adds. “Not only does this award recognize my commitment to my life’s work in helping seniors—I hope it will also shed extra light on the industry.”

Congratulations Amy from the entire team at Tea & Toast—we are so very proud of you!

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