GUELPH – JD Dixon got the surprise of his life when he learned the business he and his wife Vicky own, Dixon’s Distilled Spirits, was named Best of Ontario – Spirits at the LCBO’s Elsie Awards on May 3.
“I was comfortably at home when I started getting texts from friends offering congratulations. I didn’t know what was going on,” he said in an interview.
Fortunately, his vice president of sales and marketing Michael Kingma was at the first in-person Elsie Awards event in two years and accepted on the Dixons’ behalf.
“We are grateful to be recognized as delivering some of Ontario’s best spirits,” said Vicky Dixon in a press release.
“Quite simply, we love doing what we do and are honoured that the awards committee have tried it, love it too, and are sharing it with others.”
Dixon’s also won seven awards at the International SIP Awards, which is judged by consumers.
Dixon’s won platinum awards for its Wicked Raspberry gin, Wicked Citrus gin and Silvercreek Vodka and a silver award for its Wicked Blueberry gin. The vodka and blueberry gin also won Consumers’ Choice Awards and the blueberry gin also won the Innovation Award.
“We don’t go out looking for them,” JD Dixon said of the awards.
“Honestly, these past few years we’ve just been keeping our head down and trying to make a product people will like.
“We tweak things to make them better – and that’s the fun of this.”
Dixon’s Distilled Spirits was founded in 2015 and has grown by 150 per cent since 2020, Dixon said.
The owners, originally from Fergus, have plans to expand the business into Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Newfoundland.
Their locally sourced Canadian-made products are currently available at LCBOs throughout the province and through their online store.
Dixon’s was among the first distilleries approved by Health Canada to make hand sanitizer in 2020.
Initial supplies were donated to frontline staff including paramedics, firefighters, police and hospital workers, when the pandemic rendered sanitizer in short supply. They continue to make hand sanitizer.
The company is also sponsor of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, an organization formed to create awareness about the need for a professional and sustainable women’s hockey league.
“We are a family-run company that believes doing good is not only our responsibility, but good for business and great for our staff, customers and neighbours,” Vicky Dixon said.
“And thanks to the support of these very people, we’re fortunate to be able to give back to organizations that support and strengthen Ontario communities.”
The LCBO’s Elsie Awards recognize suppliers, agents and trade partners that excel in their commitment to innovation, creativity, customer service and social responsibility.
The awards began in 1994; this year marks the 28th anniversary.