BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Retail Association, in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business, today recognized outstanding Alabama retailers representing 13 retail businesses with operations in 51 Alabama cities and 30 other states as Retailers of the Year. This year’s winners came from a pool of almost 70 nominees. The presentations were made during the 2015 Alabama Retail Day Luncheon in Birmingham. Stu Crum, president of Bridgestone Retail Operations, made the keynote address. This marked the 16th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
Will Haver, owner of Otey’s Tavern in Mountain Brook, earned the Silver Alabama Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales $1 Million to $5 Million category. Otey’s, which Haver bought about eight years ago, features an American-style food menu and a bar with spirits as well as international, domestic and locally brewed beer. The quarter-century-old local tavern is known for its live music, trivia nights and occasional big block-style parties.
The Retailer of the Year judges praised Haver and his staff for Otey’s impressive growth and their commitment to the community. Haver credits Otey’s growing productivity results to the extraordinarily low turnover rate in its staff. He also cited a new emphasis on catering efforts over the past year, allowing him to hire a full-time catering director. “Our marketing strategy is simple,” said Haver. “We go out of our way to show people that we are that neighborhood tavern where you’ll always be welcome.”
Suzan Doidge, executive director of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce, nominated Haver for the award. “Will is one of many talented restaurateurs in Birmingham’s thriving food scene. Will has managed to set himself apart because his restaurants have delicious food and the best customer service in the industry,” said Doidge. In addition to owning Otey’s Tavern, Haver is the creator and owner of Taco Mama, a popular restaurant concept that has since expanded outside Mountain Brook to Tuscaloosa, Huntsville and Homewood. “Will is a hard worker,” added Doidge. “He is dedicated to supporting his community, giving back to charity, and volunteering.”
In addition to operating restaurants, Haver is a 2015 Birmingham Business Journal Top 40 under 40, a nominee for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year Award and president of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce.
“We love what we do, we love the people we serve and we love the people we work with. It’s that simple,” said Haver.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Will Haver is a retailer of the year EVERY year to his customers, 12 employees and the Mountain Brook and greater Birmingham communities.”
Media Contact: Will Haver, Otey’s Tavern | 205.871.8435
Media Contact: Melissa Warnke | 334.551.0631 (d) | 800.239.5423