Byron businesses dominate awards
BYRON Shire businesses have proven their worth at this year's Northern Rivers Business Excellence Awards, picking up plenty of the categories.
The awards were presented at a gala dinner at Elements of Byron on Saturday night, hosted by vivacious TV personality Kerri-Anne Kennerley, who brought her Gold Logie along.
Stone and Wood Brewing Co were the big winners of the night, taking home the top gong - Regional Business of the Year - while also picking up two other major awards for Excellence in Sustainability and Outstanding Employer of Choice.
The Byron Bay brewery has grown from a fledgling player in the craft beer market to earning acclaim across Australia - not to mention cracking into the global market.
Stone and Wood all started with friends Ross Jurisich, Jamie Cook and Brad Rogers having the fantasy of quitting their jobs and moving to Byron Bay.
The trio decided to make the seachange in 2008, leaving jobs at Carlton United Breweries to start their own craft beer operation.
The company is now the second largest independent brewery in Australia behind Coopers.
Since its inception the brewery has created numerous beers and won many awards including gold, silver and bronze at the Australian International Beer Awards this year, the largest annual beer competition in the world.
This win coincides with the brewery's 10-year anniversary of operation.
Other major winners on the night were Bangalow's Hemp Foods Australia (Excellence in Export).
Jeremy Holmes from Byron Bay Railroad Company was awarded the prestigious Start up Superstar award for a landmark solar train project.
The solar train has picked up a slew of awards recently.
Eddie Brook of Cape Byron Distillery was given the Outstanding Young Entrepreneur gong.
The company is most well known for its recent creation, Brookies Gin, which has made a splash in the market since its inception.
The awards were chosen from 99 finalist entries with representation from across the Northern Rivers.
"As a community, I think we are extremely proud of the success of our businesses and we embrace their achievements and successes like they are our own,” NSW Business Chamber regional manager Jane Laverty said.
"I believe we do have a great sense of empathy for how hard it is to be in business in today's economy and how much we rely on our business leaders to create and sustain the jobs that allow us to live in paradise.”
Many of the winners from the Northern Rivers Business Excellence Awards will go on to represent the region at the State Business Awards in Sydney in November.
The full list of winners include:
Outstanding Young Employee: Caitlyn Knight, SAE Group
Outstanding Young Entrepreneur: Eddie Brook, Cape Byron Distillery
Outstanding Business Leader: Les McGuire, Future Proof Financial
Excellence in Small Business: Potager - A Kitchen Garden
Excellence in Business: Duraplas Industries
Excellence in Social Enterprise: Yaru Water & Mount Warning Spring Water
Excellence in Sustainability: Stone & Wood Brewing Co
Outstanding Employer of Choice: Stone & Wood Brewing Co
Excellence in Innovation: Sunshine Sugar
Excellence in Workplace Inclusion: Thomas Noble & Russell (TNR)
Excellence in Export: Hemp Foods Australia
Start Up Superstar : Byron Bay Railroad Company
Local Chamber of Commerce: Evans Head Business and Community Chamber
Excellence in Aged Care & Wellbeing: Varela & Swift Pharmacy
Excellence in Personal Services: Nestle In Childcare Centres
Excellence in Professional Services: Southern Cross Credit Union
Excellence in Retail: Shopbaby Australia
Excellence in Trade & Manufacturing: APRACS
Excellence in Visitor Experience: Casino RSM Club
Regional Business of the Year: Stone & Wood Brewing Co