SOAP LAKE - Although John and Jill Larsen have had the title of business owners for about a year now, it's having the title of Soap Lake community members that has the most value to them.
The Larsens took over as owners of the Del-Red Pub in Soap Lake last year.
And everything they've done, both inside and outside of the business, since then has been done with the community in mind, Jill Larsen said.
"Our community is important to us," she said. "It's what we're all about here."
Del-Red has had a presence at numerous Soap Lake events, including having a float in the Smokiam Days Parade, sponsoring a car in the Soap Lake Box Derby and sponsoring both the Soap Lake Hydroplane Regatta and the Outboard Hydro Regatta.
The Larsens also helped out at Winterfest last year, according to a previous Columbia Basin Herald article.
The Larsens' participation in community events caught the attention of the Soap Lake Chamber of Commerce.
The organization named Del-Red "Business of the Year" during their annual banquet earlier this month.
John Larsen said receiving the award was a great moment for the pair, especially since taking over the Del-Red Pub was their first real business venture.
"It's awesome," he said. "It just validates everything we've done here."
When they took over last year, one of the things they wanted to do was make the establishment a little more family friendly, he said.
"We wanted to push more food, make it more like a restaurant where families could come," John Larsen said. "We encourage families to come in so we created an atmosphere that makes it enjoyable for them."
Creating a space separate from the bar and pool area helped accomplish that, he said.
Jill Larsen said the new food items have been a big hit so far.
"We upgraded the menu and that's doing excellent," she said. "I do all the soups and salads and all the desserts are homemade."
Del-Red's Reuben sandwich is also popular, she said.