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Audielicious a finalist for small business award

In 2013, the chef's life brought Audie Loui Banania to Fort St. John
Audie Louie Banania reopened his restaurant, Audielicious, for dine-in service on May 19, 2020. He's also offering a small food bank to diners and residents.

Fort St. John's Audielicious Restaurant has been shortlisted as one of the best small businesses in B.C. for immigrant entrepreneurship.

The restaurant, opened in 2019, is one of five finalists for Best Immigrant Entrepreneur at the upcoming Small Business BC Awards.

The award recognizes an outstanding new Canadian who has started a successful business in B.C., and who has overcome adversity, exhibits leadership both in their community and within their business, and has strong track record of business growth.

"Having had the difficulties of starting in Canada as an immigrant and having the leadership and community support to build their own food bank in their restaurant is amazing!" the judges said.

The chef's life brought Audie Louie Banania to Fort St. John in 2013, and later to front doors of his first restaurant in 2019. He's one among hundreds in the city's burgeoning Filipino community who have been settling here and putting down roots.

The restaurant employs 11 people, holds regular donation drives for local non-profits, and even started a small food bank when the pandemic began, Small Business BC notes on its website.

In 2020, the restaurant received the Community Award from the Association for Community Living, and was voted Best Dinner and Best Service in the Alaska Highway News People's Choice Awards.

"We always give back to the community because they are the reason why we are still in business, without them we are nothing. And of course we always thank God the Almighty who guides us always and we get this far," Banania said of his nomination.

"It is overwhelming because we are not just nominated in one category, we are nominated in 3 different categories. We believed that whoever nominated us believes and trust us. The trust in what we do and they believe that no matter what we are here for them."

Also in the running are Soul Bite Food in Coquitlam, Charcuterie Vancouver in Vancouver, Artemex Mexican Handcrafts in West Kelowna, and and Kleiner Services Inc. in Vancouver.

The Top Five finalists will now be required to make a presentation about their business to panel of judges, pitching why their business should win an award. The panel of independent business owners and professionals will then select the winners. 

The winners of the Small Business BC Awards will be announced over the course of a three-day virtual gala, from May 4 to May 6, 2021. The winners will receive $1,500, a short video shot by a professional film crew of their business, and an all access pass to Small Business BC’s services.

“This is a terrific opportunity to celebrate the province’s hard-working small business owners,” said Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon. “Their success and innovation is inspirational. I congratulate all of the nominees for their hard work – they deserve the recognition. They also deserve our gratitude for the contribution they make to communities throughout B.C.”

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at

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