It's time for another round of recognition for Sandy's most "sensational" businesses.
Mountain Moka, Cole Pritchard with Country Financial and Sanders Automotive have been nominated by the community to compete for the quarterly award from the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce.
Over the next three weeks, The Post will feature all three businesses to inform voters of their options.
Mountain Moka is up this week for voter consideration as a two-time nominee.
Tina Hovey has been the face of Mountain Moka since her family and co-owners Mike and Rosemary Guisto purchased the business 17 years ago.
"We just thought it was a great opportunity," Hovey said of her family's motivation to take over and keep the coffee flowing at the little corner coffee shop at 17450 S.E. Meinig Ave. "Their coffee is an addiction."
Hovey lives in Sandy, only a mile away from the shop, and has raised her children here. Her daughter has even worked at the shop almost as long as Hovey herself has managed the business.
Though working with her daughter is a fun perk, being the first stop for people's morning pick-me-up is her favorite part of working at Mountain Moka.
"We're kind of like the place that's part of people's morning routine," Hovey noted. "It's more a part of them. It's kind of cool. I'm a people person. The girls laugh and say all I do is stand around and talk to people all day."
Last June, Hovey overhauled the look of the well-known café from its retro lime green and purple interior with checkerboard flooring to a more modern streamlined layout.
"I kind of miss the eclecticism of it," Hovey admitted. "However, I feel like it definitely has made us more efficient. People like to get in and out."
Besides serving up a large portion of the town's daily caffeine intake, Hovey and her staff regularly donate coffee or a space for a donation jar to community groups. They also volunteer for the mock interviews at Sandy High School and donate teachers' morning coffee to Firwood Elementary for the first day of school. Most recently, Hovey brewed up vats of coffee for the Sandy Kiwanis Cruise-In breakfast.
"We love being able to do that for the community," Hovey said. "When people call, we help. It's just giving back. A lot of these people are customers of ours, so they support us and we want to support them in return. I'm a firm believer in (the idea that) people help take care of us, so we help take care of them. We open the door to these fundraisers, but the customers deserve the credit. If we do a little paperwork, the community pulls through."
Hovey added that she is "honored" to have been nominated for a second chance at the Chamber's sensational business award.
"It almost meant more the second time than the first," she said. "I have to give credit to the employees here. Some of them have been with me for years. They're really good at making people feel at home, and people love that. They appreciate a familiar face."
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