In a big week for Thurston County, two local businesses were awarded the inaugural Excellence In Safety Award by the Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA).

The Excellence In Safety Award is given to companies that demonstrate a strong and continuous effort to improve workplace safety. This year, Harbor Wholesale Foods was the large group winner and Olympia Grocery Outlet took the honors in the small group category.

“Reducing workplace injuries and helping employers create safe work environments is an important part of our work at WFIA,” WFIA President and CEO Jan Gee said in a statement. “That is why I am so pleased to present our (inaugural) Excellence in Safety Awards to Harbor Wholesale Foods and Olympia Grocery Outlet, two outstanding member businesses that have made safety a part of their culture.”

Harbor Wholesale Foods, located in Lacy, is family run and is the leading distributor in convenient, on-the-go food. Currently, Harbor Wholesale Foods delivers to more than 2,000 locations. It also is one of the nation’s top convenience products distributors offering over 12,000 products.

Olympia Grocery Outlet, run by Mae and Albert Respicio, support the WFIA’s mission to use the award to inspire ongoing work safety habits. The pair were initially hesitant to even enter the competition but eventually changed their minds on the basis with the hope that their example could help other employer’s gain insight into improving workplace safety.

In addition to the award, Harbor Wholesale Foods will receive $7,500. Being the small group winner, Olympic Grocery Outlet will get $2,500.