The winners of the 2018 Somerset Business Awards were announced at a glittering black-tie event last Friday (19 October 2018), where nearly 400 influential business people celebrated the best of Somerset businesses at Wellsprings Leisure Centre in Taunton.
Hosted by Somerset cricket all-rounder and cult hero, Peter Trego, the 14 Awards were presented by their sponsors, before the winners were announced and invited on stage to collect their trophy and give a short speech.
Greg Saunders, Chair of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce – organisers of the Awards – welcomed all the finalists and sponsors to the event, and congratulated them on making it so far in the Awards. He commented, “The Awards are now in their 14th year, and are a firmly established highlight of the Somerset business calendar. Tonight we celebrate the success and diversity within the Somerset community.”
Eight-time main sponsor and leading local accountancy firm, Albert Goodman, also took to the stage to welcome everyone to the Awards and congratulate the finalists. Managing Partner, Richard Bugler, commented, “The Somerset Business Awards are always such a fantastic celebration of the best and brightest of the Somerset business community. Albert Goodman is delighted to be in its eighth year as the main sponsor and it has been a truly rewarding experience to get to know many of the wonderful businesses and charities that enter these Awards. Entering and winning the Awards can have a really tangible impact for businesses and we’d encourage everyone who is proud of their business to have a go. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists.”
This year’s Somerset Business Awards winners are:
New Business of the Year Award
Sponsored by Teapot Creative, this Award celebrates businesses who have been trading for less than three complete financial years. The judges were looking for innovative and passionate businesses, with a new idea or a new business concept. Barry Tottle and Lizzie Ginbey presented this year’s Award.
The Sangha House was crowned this year’s winner. The Award was accepted by Andy and Denise Spragg. Andy said, “To be recognised for this Award is super and we would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who’s supported us so far. This is amazing!”
The runners up were: Lodestone Property (Bruton) and Withies Delicatessen (Stoke St Gregory)
Service Excellence Award
Sponsored by Elite Staffing Solutions, this Award recognises customer service which goes over and above normal industry expectations, with clear strategies for maintaining such high levels of service. It was presented by Emma Warren, who commented on how important the people are within a business.
Bowen Opticians was crowned this year’s winner, and the Award was accepted by Fiona Bromfield and Steph Bowen from the firm. Fiona said, “This is a great achievement. Excellent customer service is at the heart of what we do, so to have won such a prestigious Award is testament to our hard work.”
The runners up were: Busy Bees Cleaning & Maintenance 2000 Ltd (Frome) and Haynes International Motor Museum (Sparkford)
Creative Marketing & PR Campaign of the Year Award
Sponsored by specialist communications agency, ADPR, this Award sets out to recognise and showcase the county’s most effective and creative approaches to marketing and PR. Kate O’Sullivan, Managing Director at ADPR, presented this year’s Award.
Bradfords Building Supplies was crowned this year’s winner, and the Award was accepted by Dan Rowlandson and Paul Malloy. Paul commented, “We are totally in shock, we would like to thank everyone who was involved in our winning campaign, including our colleagues, Good Eggs. The campaign was our most successful marketing effort yet and this is thanks to the alignment of our business’s operations, marketing and sales departments, which enabled us to exceed all of our targets.”
The runners up were: Greenslade Taylor Hunt (Yeovil) and Red Berry Recruitment (Shepton Mallet)
Investing in Somerset Award
The Investing in Somerset Award recognises companies who are passionate about supporting Somerset’s economy through local activity, demonstrated by their use of local employment, training, trading or regional supply chain. Sponsored by Hinkley Point C, David Peacop presented the Award.
The Award was presented to eat:Festivals for playing such a key role in the Somerset community. Will and Pip Campbell-Clause from Stream Farm collected the Award on behalf of eat:Festivals and said, “It’s a great honour to accept this Award on behalf of eat:Festivals – thank you.”
The runners up were: Evosite (Taunton) and The Taunton Cider Company (Taunton)
Skills for Growth Award
Recognising businesses that have not only invested in the skills of their existing workforce, but have shown a commitment to developing the Somerset workforce of the future, this Award was sponsored by Wessex Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association. Jon Beake, from the Association, presented the Award.
The Award was given to Evolution ABS Ltd. Margaret Scarrott and Kate Bailey accepted the Award on stage saying, “We are hugely privileged to be acknowledged for this incredible award. We are hugely passionate about our business and to be recognised for that is amazing.”
The runners up were: Brookside Academy (Street) and Red Berry Recruitment (Shepton Mallet)
Young Business Employee Award
Sponsored by Clarks and presented by Senior Vice President, Lesley Robertson, this Award is presented to a young individual who has made a significant impact on their business. Going above and beyond the call of duty, the Award nominations are put forward by their employer. Lesley commented, “Investing in young, local talent is very important, and the entries this year were exceptionally high. Both the businesses and individuals are great examples of success in Somerset.”
A tough Award to judge, Rachel Lane of Oake Manor Golf Club was named this year’s winner. Rachel Lane and Ginny Gillingham took to the stage to accept the Award. Rachel said, “I am honoured to have been given this Award and I would like to say huge thanks to Ginny for nominating me. I love my job, and I love working at Oake Manor!”
The runners up were: Lily Higgins of Crestmoor Training (Wincanton) and Aran Reeks of Evosite (Taunton)
The Albert Goodman Family Business of the Year
Main sponsors, Albert Goodman, host this award and annually look for demonstration that the family has significant influence on the business, with one or more family members involved in the management of the business. It is also key for the business to be financially successful and show a clear vision for the long-term future of the business. Mike Cahill presented the Award, saying, “It is an honour to introduce our Award. Family business has a huge impact on our economy and it is amazing to see the passion and pride of our local businesses, coupled with the unrivalled enthusiasm and energy for their success.”
This year, The Albert Goodman Family Business of the Year Award was presented to C & D South West Ltd. Sam and Lorna Hammond collected the Award, saying, “We are so happy and quite overwhelmed. It’s not possible without our staff and suppliers – so thank you so much.”
The runners up were: Camelot Care Limited (Wellington) and Sparks and Daughters Ltd (Taunton)
Technology & Innovation Award
Sponsored by Porter Dodson Solicitors & Advisors, this Award recognises firms who are using the internet, cloud computing, robotics, apps or Artificial Intelligence to stand out in the market place. Ben Hingley presented the Award.
The Award was presented to Cardstream for using advanced technology within their business. Jack Leat and Chris Wilson went on stage to collect the Award, saying, “Thank you very much, we are very honoured to win this Award”.
The runner up was: i2i Infinity Ltd (Shepton Mallet)
Somerset Manufacturer & Producer Award
This Award is sponsored by Ashfords LLP and was presented by Stuart Mathews, Partner and Head of Corporate Services at the firm. He explained how the judges were looking for innovative and agile manufacturers and producers from within the county, with a commitment to proven research and development in practice, and a passion for continuous improvement.
The Award was presented to Granny Gothards Limited, for its dedication to the business. Amanda Stansfield went on stage to accept the award and commented, “I really haven’t got any words for this! I am delighted to win this Award. We started the business in 2012 with just five customers. We made the decision not to change what we do and since then we have gone from strength to strength. You can be an artisan producer and stay true to why your customers fell in love with you in the first place.”
The runners up were: Eternal Kitchens (South Petherton) and Taunton Fabrications Ltd (Taunton)
Business of the Year Awards
The Business of the Year Awards look for the “X-Factor” in companies, delivering the full package and more. The winning businesses demonstrate how they stand out from the crowd in areas such as ambition, profitability, growth, sound business planning, customer satisfaction and management of people.
1-10 Employees Award:
Looking at the one-man bands and smaller businesses, the Business of the Year 1-10 Employees Award is always highly competitive. Sponsored by TDA, the award was presented by Alan Smith.
The Award winners were Introtweet Ltd, who won thanks to their dedication to the business. Laura Brown and Peter Andrews went on stage to accept the award and Laura commented, “A huge thank you to all of our supporters, it was an honour to be shortlisted and is absolutely amazing to have won. We are very proud.”
The runners up were: Environments for Business (Taunton) and Eternal Kitchens (South Petherton)
11-25 Employees Award:
The next business size up, the Business of the Year 11-25 Employees Award was once again sponsored by A.C. Mole & Sons. Rebecca Oatley presented the Award.
Boxclever Press was crowned this year’s winner. Sarah Sadler accepted the award and commented, “We didn’t expect to win! I would like to say a big thanks to the team. Somerset is a very special place to me and this Award means so much to us. We are now exporting and so this Award helps to cement our growth.”
The runners up were: Choice Stationery Supplies Ltd (Taunton) and Office Reality Ltd (Wellington)
26-50 Employees Award:
Sponsored by PKF Francis Clark, Ben Lee, a Partner for the accountancy firm, took to the stage to present the Award.
The winner for 2018 was announced as Evosite. James Shakespeare and Guy Tucker went on stage to accept the Award and commented, “Thank you to the team, we couldn’t have done it without you. We’ve doubled our business in five years, which is amazing. We owe everything to the team, our clients and our partners.”
The runners up were: Civils Store Ltd (Shepton Mallet) and Key Solutions Mortgages (Weston)
51+ Employees Award:
The largest business category of them all, the Business of the Year, 51+ Employees Award is sponsored by Screwfix. Sammie Escott, took to the stage to present the Award.
The winner was Yarlington Housing Group. Caroline Moore accepted the award and commented, “I’m absolutely privileged to win this Award. We are passionate about solving the housing crisis in Somerset and this is a real endorsement of our efforts in this area.”
The runners up were: Radstock Co-operative Society (Radstock) and Weston College (Weston)
Charity of the Year Award:
The winning charity for this Award demonstrates not just how much money it raises or spends, but also how it makes a significant difference to those they work for, by fundraising and the contributions of volunteers. Sponsored by Clarke Willmott LLP, Tim Walker, Partner from the firm, took to the stage to participate in the Charity raffle. Prizes this year included a three-course dinner for two at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill, a Match Day Suite for up to 15 guests at Cooper Associates County Ground and a VIP day out for two at the Royal Bath & West Show with entrance, show passes and lunch.
Taking home the Award and a cheque for £1,000 was Key4Life. Eva Hamilton took to the stage to accept the Award and cheque. She said, “We set up Key4Life six years ago, helping kids who’ve been in prison – some up to 80 times at the age of 20. We believe when you’ve done wrong, you need help to get back on track, and that’s exactly what we do.”
The runners up were: Headway Somerset (Taunton) and Stand Against Violence (Taunton), both taking home £500 each.
To close the evening, Stephen Henagulph, CEO of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, addressed the audience, concluding, “It’s been an amazing evening celebrating everything that’s great about Somerset and we congratulate all our winners and runners up. We hope you’ve enjoyed the evening and thank you for joining us to celebrate!”
Working together with Bridgwater & Taunton College, the finalists were filmed by Media students who created a short film about each business, which were shown on the Awards night and forms part of the students’ final course results.
The Somerset Business Awards is active on Twitter, please follow @SomBizAwards for all the latest news and updates with #SBA2018. To find out more, and for further information about the Awards, please visit: www.somersetbusinessawards.org.uk.