MORE than 300 people gathered to celebrate the best companies in the district as the winners of the 2015 West Berkshire Business Awards were announced at a gala dinner at Newbury Racecourse.
The awards, in association with the Newbury Weekly News, recognise the often unnoticed success of the local business community.
There were nine individual categories to enter this year, covering all aspects of business and charity.
International Taste Solutions (ITS Taste) – based in Greenham Business Park – took away the top prize, the Bayer 2015 Prestigious Business of the Year Award.
The company, which was formed by Mike Bagshaw in 2009 and supplies natural flavours and texture solutions to the bakery industry, also picked up the Business Executive Advantage Charity & Innovation Award.
Mr Bagshaw said: “Through immense hard work, focus and dedication we have seen ITS accelerate at a phenomenal rate, working with some of the biggest food brands in the world and helping them to improve their products from a taste, texture and health perspective.
“I am immensely proud of both of the awards we have received and I truly believe I have the best team in the world.”
The awards night, hosted by Thomas Plant of Special Auction Services, saw 300 guests enjoy a drinks reception provided by lead sponsor Bayer, followed by a three-course dinner and live music provided by The Extra Covers.
Awards chairwoman Deborah Lester-George said: “There was a real buzz of excitement during the awards ceremony.
“The awards are now the hottest ticket on the West Berkshire business calendar and it won’t be long before the committee and I start planning for 2016.”
PBA ACCOUNTANTS SMALL BUSINESS AWARD - We Love Pets
“Thank you very much to PBA Accountants for choosing us against such strong competition, it is fantastic to have our hard work recognised.
“A huge thank you to our wonderful customers now and throughout the years, your custom and continuous feedback have allowed us to grow and improve.
“Lastly congratulations and thank you to all the wonderful We Love Pets staff, working hard in all areas of the business to provide the best care and the best customer service that has helped us to receive this award.”
THE NEWBURY RACECOURSE RURAL AWARD - West Berkshire Brewery
David Bruce, Chairman of WBB said, “I am delighted that my brilliant team has been recognised at such a prestigious awards ceremony and we can add yet another award to our fast-expanding collection. All their enthusiasm and hard work during the past few years have paid off as we continue our exciting brewing (ad-) venture.”
NEWBURY BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT INDEPENDENT RETAIL BUSINESS - Bravo Hairdressing Ltd
Managing director Phil Jackson said: “We’ve had a brilliant year with some excellent achievements in hair industry awards, but there is something very special about winning an award that recognises your business locally.
“Hairdressing plays a massive part in our High Street economy, in terms of both footfall and repeat business and it’s great to have an award that recognises the importance of our contribution. The whole team is buzzing about the award and we’re quite rightly very proud.
THE BUSINESS EXECUTIVE ADVANTAGE INNOVATION AWARD - International Taste Solutions Ltd
Managing director Mike Bagshaw said: “Through immense hardwork, focus and dedication we have seen ITS accelerate at a phenomenal rate working with some of the biggest food brands in the world and helping them to improve their products from a taste, texture and health perspective.
“I am immensely proud of both of the awards we have received and I truly believe I have the best team in the world. I dedicate these awards to my team, my family and my friends who have helped make this possible.”
THE SANTANDER INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT OR PUB AWARD - The Hare and Hounds
Owner Jonathan Nelsey said: “We, all here, were really delighted to have won the award. The addition of The Barn, together with the refurbishment of the original Inn, really has transformed The Hare and Hounds.
“The award coincided with my wife Jean and my 10th anniversary of owning The Hare & Hounds.
“It is fair to say we look back with great pride to have achieved all we have in that time.
“Winning it is a fantastic way to have our historic Inn recognised for all that it has been and all that it now will be for generations past present and future.
“We should finally say a big thank you to all our customers past and present, and especially the incredibly dedicated staff without whom none of this would have been possible.”
THE WEST BERKSHIRE COUNCIL CHARITY & COMMUNITY AWARD - Education Business Partnership West Berkshire
THE APPLEPRINT & CREATIVE NEW BUSINESS START UP AWARD - Elearning Marketplace Ltd
Carolyn Lewis, managing director of the Elearning Marketplace said ‘We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded Creative Startup Business 2015. It is down to the hard work and dedication of the Elearning Marketplace team that we won the award
‘Winning the Creative Startup Award has not only been great to celebrate the team’s success, but also it provides us with an external endorsement of our business model and strategy moving forward. We have exciting, big plans for the future and this award has really given us the motivation and confidence to meet our ambitious objectives.
THE MERCEDES BENZ CUSTOMER CARE AWARD - The Vici Language Academy
ROC TECHNOLOGY EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARD – AWE
Kathryn Marshall, Interim Director of HR at AWE, said: “AWE is delighted to receive the WBBA employer of the year award.
“This is fantastic recognition for the great work our employees do in making AWE an employer of choice.
“We continue to support local schools and communities and are proud to offer exciting and inspiring careers for the people of West Berkshire.”