windsorstar.com; Posted by: Dave Hall: LEAMINGTON, Ont. — When Eric Labbate found a bouquet of flowers on his doorstep Monday, he figured he had some explaining to do at home.
“At first I thought I had a secret admirer,” said the owner of Climate Control Systems. “Then I thought how was I going to explain it to my wife.”
Labbate needn’t have worried.
The flowers were from the Leamington District Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his company being named winner of the Home Grown award in the chamber’s annual business excellence competition.
“I didn’t even know we were entered in the competition,” said Labbate. “I think my son Chris put us up to it, so it was a real surprise.
Labbate’s company, which designs and builds climate control systems for the greenhouse industry, was one of 10 winners announced Monday.
Labbate established his company in 1978 and since then has been designing and building systems for greenhouse operators in 14 countries around the world.
“We have three products,” said Labbate. “We have a system which helps greenhouses recycle their licheate water, a nutrient management system which provides every need through a plant’s growing cycle and a climate management system for greenhouses which controls temperature, humidity, irrigation, fertilizer levels and CO2 levels.”
Greenhouse operators are required to recycle their water, said Labbate. “Our system removes the phosphates, chlorines and others contaminants. We filter it, recondition it and recycle it back to the crops.”
The company has a handful of employees, including Chris who handles software engineering, but calls in more on an as-needed basis.