Owners of Cosmo's in Orange Beach, Alabama, win state awards.By John Mullen

November 8, 2018 – Orange Beach, AL (OBA®) – Several iconic businesses from Orange Beach received statewide awards recently and were honored for those kudos at the Nov. 6 city council meeting.

Among the winners were Cosmo’s, Cobalt, Wolf Bay Lodge, Perdido Beach Resort, Bill Briand of Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina and Camille Baker of Perdido Beach Resort.

The Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association, the Alabama Retail Association and The Partnership of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama handed out the awards.

Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Alabama, is the Hotelier of the Year for the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association.Perdido Beach Resort, the largest privately owned hotel in Alabama, was named the Hotelier of the Year by the ARHA and the honor was accepted by Penny Groux. Yolanda Johnson, Business Advisor for the Alabama Small Business Development Center, said an individual’s name is usually added to the permanent trophy but the staff at the resort insisted on the business’ name be on the trophy.

“For the first time in the history of this award the association put the hotel’s name and not an individual on this award because this hotel is managed and operated by a team,” Johnson said.

Baker works in the resort’s restaurants and was named by the ARHA as the Back of the House Employee of the Year.

“Camile exemplifies all of the qualities of a true kitchen professional every day,” Perdido Beach Resort Executive Chief Brodie Olive said. “Not only in her dedication to her job but in her high standards in all that she does.”

Briand of Fisher’s was named as the group’s chef of the year. He has had a distinguished career with the restaurant receiving numerous awards from Southern Living and he is a two-time James Beard nominee.

“Fisher’s was recognized in 2014, 2015 and 2016 by Southern Living as one of the best restaurants in the South,” Groux, representing the ARHA, said. “Additionally, Chef Briand was named a James Beard Best Chef of the South-Semifinalist in 2016 and 2017.”

Bill Briand of Fisher's in Orange Beach, Alabama is ARHA chef of the year.The final ARHA award went to Brian and Jodi Harsany for Restauranteur of the Year for their Cosmo’s. The pair owns five restaurants in Orange Beach including Cosmo’s, Cobalt, Luna’s Eat and Drink, GT’s by the Bay and BuzzCatz Coffee and Sweets.

“They are deeply involved in the community and their restaurants donate over $100,000 each year to local non-profits supporting their belief in our people, our environment and our animal population,” Groux said. “They have previously been recognized by the Chamber and by the City of Orange Beach for their unwavering support of our community and our natural resources.”

This was one of three awards the Harsanys have won this year. They won the Silver Award from the ARA for Cobalt and were honored as a finalist in the Small Business of the year from the CCAA and Business Council of Alabama for Cosmo’s.

Wolf Bay Lodge tied with Cobalt for the Silver Award and second-generation owner Charlene Haber was on hand to accept the award.

“The judges were impressed with the resilience of this family-owned business through natural disasters of hurricanes and fires,” Johnson said. “They were nominated by Donna Watts of the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce.”

Wolf Bay Lodge has three locations, County Road 20 in Foley, at Zeke’s Landing in Orange Beach and a new location, recently opened in Perdido Key at the old Triggers location.

Charlene Haber of Wolf Bay Lodge is an Alabama Retailer's Association Silver Award winner.ARHA back of the house award goes to Camille Baker of Perdido Beach Resort.