THE best and brightest of Buckinghamshire’s business world were celebrated last night in a glittering awards ceremony in Aylesbury.
The cream of the county’s entrepreneurs were celebrated with 11 different categories in the Buckinghamshire Business Award 2014.
Taking the coveted Company of the Year award at the black-tie event was the Global Infusion Group, based in Chesham, which was already riding high last night after earlier winning the Exporter award.
The business, which has also recently won a Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade, focuses on ‘catering, logistics and brand support’. Formed 30 years ago, the business had expanded into a global operation with offices in the US, the Middle Ears and Asia.
Originally launched in 1984 as ‘Eat to Beat’ – an artist, production and crew catering business specialising in backstage catering services for music, entertainment, film and TV industries, including festivals like Glastobury and Reading – the company has catered many of the biggest names in the entertainment world.
A statement from the firm said the Company of the Year Award was “a category we’re very proud of winning, to be recognised by our peers and fellow business leaders for meeting the needs of our clients providing them with the best care possible”.
Other winners included Amersham-based Isagi, which took the Innovative Business crown. The firm manufactures and distributes a unique, patented anti-slip material used in a variety of products such as bath mats.
Brendan O’Sullivan Hair and Beauty, also based in Amersham, took the best Apprentice Employer award for its innovative apprenticeship scheme.
Global information provider CoCredo, based in Great Missenden won the Small Business award.
Wycombe-based public relations firm Cerub PR, meanwhile, took the Bill Bendyshe-Brown Award, which recognises the achievements and excellence of small to medium sized enterprises in the Wycombe District.
Other winners from the south Bucks area included Medical Supermarket, a one-stop shop for healthcare based in Marlow, for Excellence in Customer Service, and the historic Stoke Park estate in Stoke Poges, for Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality.
Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Alex Pratt, chairman of Buckinghamshire Business First, who paid tribute throughout the night to the importance of the business community to Bucks, “the entrepreneurial heart of the country”.
He paid tribute to the high calibre of this year’s entries, noting how difficult it had been to choose the winners. He added: “This is a serious business community and a serious place to win an award.”
This year’s trophy – an elegant swan design – was created by Buckinghamshire New University student Verena Boehm. Her work was chosen from design submissions by six BNU students.
Aside from the business of awards, attendees also raised £1,400 on the night for the Marie Curie charity.
“It is business, at the end of the day, that is the font that funds everything we hold dear”
The full list of award winners is as follows:
- Apprentice Employer (sponsored by Buckinghamshire County Council) – Brendan O’Sullivan Hair and Beauty
Also shortlisted: Harmonea, Paradigm Housing
- Business Leader (sponsored by Thomas International) – Caron Vetter – The Belmore Centre
Also shortlisted: Dr Kim Lloyd – Ugg Foods, York Woodford-Smith –Five on a Bike
- Enterprising Charity (sponsored by Buckinghamshire Community Foundation) Helen & Douglas House
Also shortlisted: Ategi, The Princes Centre
- Small Business (sponsored by Wycombe District Council) – CoCredo
Also shortlisted: Cerub PR, Enterprise Marketing Solutions
- The Bill Bendyshe-Brown Award (sponsored by Wycombe District Council) – Cerub PR
- Excellence in Customer Service (sponsored by John Lewis) - Medical Supermarket
Also shortlisted: Buckinghamshire Registration Service, Paradigm Housing
- Exporter (sponsored by Lloyds Bank) - Global Infusion Group
Also shortlisted: Durston Rolling Mills, Urban Front
- Innovative Business (sponsored by Buckinghamshire New University) - Isagi
Also shortlisted: Ignite, Origin Frames
- Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality (sponsored by Visit Buckinghamshire) - Stoke Park
Also shortlisted: Go Ape, The Old Plow
- Rural Business (sponsored by Mix 96)- Brain Tumour Research
Also shortlisted:Chiltern Brewery, Nipperbout
- Company of the Year (sponsored by Buckinghamshire Business First) - Global Infusion Group