Matt O’Neil, owner of The Blue Ox restaurant on Oxford Street, received the Business Person of the Year Award at the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Business Excellent Awards Dinner Feb. 6 at Spinelli’s in Lynnfield.
The award is given to an LACC member who has demonstrated excellence in business and commitment to customer service, investment, product development, and growth in an ethical way.
O’Neil, whose restaurant has won numerous awards for culinary excellence, humbly lauded finalists Phyllis Sagan of Sagan Realtors and Jim Appleton of RL Appleton, in his acceptance speech.
“It’s quite an honor to be in the same category as both Phyllis Sagan and Jim Appleton, two business leaders in our community whose businesses have not only stood the test of time, but have grown into the leading business in their respective industry,” said O’Neil.
O’Neil then paid tribute to his staff, management, family and friends, “who engage in the day-to-day logistics of running a restaurant and follow my path for growth and success.”
“I value each of my employees and am thrilled most have been with me since we opened,” said O’Neil. “I’m so pleased that the last five years have been as successful as they have.”
O’Neil also thanked his wife Joanne for her support, knowledge, hard work, and expertise over the years. “I could not run the day-to-day operations without her,” he said.
“In conclusion, one my favorite notable chef is Jacques Pepin, who is famous for saying, “Cooking is the art of adjustment. And just as I have learned that as a kitchen manager, you sometimes need to add a little more salt, I also take the same mentality as a business manager, knowing that every day presents different challenges and obstacles and adjusting to them and embracing that change is the key to success. Thank you again.”