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BLUE MOUNTAINS BUSINESS AWARDS Featured
18 November 2017 Posted by 

BLUE MOUNTAINS BUSINESS AWARDS

Rubyfruit wins Business of the Year 
PHYLLIS MCGRAW
GLITTERING dresses and smart suits abounded as Blue Mountains business people celebrated their night of nights in October.
The 11th annual Blue Mountains Business Awards, held at the Fairmont Resort, Leura, saw 256 business owners, their families and staff gather to celebrate their collective achievements.
 
MC Tiriel Mora of Frontline and The Castle fame hosted the event with aplomb, ably assisted by Blue Mountains Regional Business Chamber (name and title), while singer Mataya Young wowed the audience with her beautiful jazz vocals accompanied by guitarist Dave Hutchinson.
 
The Blue Mountains Chamber hosted the event with major sponsor Scenic World.
 
Chamber executive general manager Julie Bargenquast said the evening was a great success.
 
“We’ve had loads of positive feedback,” she said. “It was our biggest awards yet in terms of the number of awards given out.
 
“The important thing about the awards is that it celebrates small business success. We need to keep honouring our small businesses and celebrating their success otherwise it’s a pretty lonely journey.
 
“It’s competitive process, so each year your competitors are constantly upping the ante, so you need to as well.”
 
Ms Bargenquast reminded finalists who did not reach the podium this year that it was important to keep trying.
 
“Businesses take time to develop,” she said. “Don’t give up, because all those businesses who took home awards have been trying for years. 
 
“Mountain Whispers is one example. She didn’t just start entering and winning. 
 
“Then last year she won a regional award and this year she won the regional award again and won a state award as well.”
 
Prizes were awarded in 21 categories throughout the night, with another two businesses inducted into the Hall of Fame and two Highly Commended. 
 
At the end of the evening the coveted major award, the Harry Hammon Award for Business Excellence went to Rubyfruit Vegan Bakery, which also took out the Excellence in Sustainability Award as well as being inducted into the Hall of Fame for winning the category three years in a row.
 
The Harry Hammon Award is named in honour of pioneer Blue Mountains businessman Harry Hammon, who founded the Scenic Railway and Scenic World. 
 
Mr Hamond passed away in 2000, but his son, Scenic World Director Phil Hammon, and granddaughter, Scenic World ManagingDirector Anthea Hammon presented the award to Rubyfruit owners Simone Bateman and Amanda Solomons.
 
“It was awesome,” Ms Bateman said of the win. “And [being inducted into] the Hall of Fame means a lot to us.”
 
But winning the Harry Hammon Award was not only the icing on the cake, but a huge surprise.
 
“We were shocked,” Ms Bateman said. “We didn’t expect it. It’s one of those things you think go to really big businesses that are a lot more mainstream than us. It was amazing for us to be recognised not for how we’re operating the business.”
 
Ms Bateman encouraged other Blue Mountains businesses to take part in next year’s awards.
 
“Winning is nice recognition, but for us what’s invaluable is the feedback you get from the judges that enables us to improve what we’re doing from year to year.
 
“I really encourage other people to enter the awards for that reason.” 
 
Winners were:
 
Harry Hammon Regional Business of the Year Award: Rubyfruit.
Hall of Fame: Ask Roz.
Young Business Executive Award: Bree Curnuck, Eagleview Estate.
Young Entrepreneur Award: Dean Edmonds, E-Smart Solar.
Business Leader Award: Lyn Smith, Woodford Homes.
Excellence in Small Business Award: Mountain Whispers - The MW Collection.
Excellence in Business Award - 20 employees or more: Woodford Homes.
Excellence in Social Enterprise Award: Cancer Wellness Support.
Start Up Superstar Award: Just Pressed t/a Blue Mountains Love.
Excellence in Innovation Award: Ask Roz.
Excellence in Sustainability Award: Rubyfruit.
Employer of Choice Award: Richards Financial Services.
Retail Business Award: Beaut-T-Ful bags.
Customer Service Award: Mountain Whispers – The MW Collection.
Hospitality Business Award: Bygone Beautys.
Creative Services Award: Wild Valley Art Park.
Business Services Award: Woodford Homes.
Home-Based Business Award: Illuminart.
Excellence in Accommodation Awards > 15 beds: Blue Mountains YHA.
Boutique Accommodation Provider Award: Shelton-Lea B&B.
Tour/Transport Operator Excellence Award: Bygone Beautys.
Employee Inclusion Award: Mount Victoria Manor.
People’s Choice Award: Glen Isla Luxury Blue Mountains Accommodation.
Highly commended (Start up Superstar Award): The Stray Whisker.
Highly Commended (Customer Service Award): Eagleview Escape.
Highly commended (Home-Based Business Award): Conveyancing Smart.
 
 
 
 
 


editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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Email: info@wsba.com.au
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