Two Leighton Buzzard businesses were winners and two more firms picked up runners-up accolades in the FSB Bedfordshire Business Awards.
The seventh annual awards attracted a record number of entrants this year with nearly 220 people enjoying a three course meal and entertainment at Warren Weir at Luton Hoo on Thursday.
Young Business Person of the Year went to Matt Worthington, of Storm Video Productions, Leighton Buzzard.
The 24-year-old set up Storm Videos back in 2012, aged just 20, at his home in Millstream Way.
Matt told the LBO that the award was a massive confidence booster and added: “I got into video production through a passion for filmmaking from around the age of 12.
“I continued this as a past-time and through my studies. When I got to university, I started taking on work outside of the course and once I started getting paid, this led from recommendation to recommendation, until I realised this was a business opportunity for me.
“Since starting up, I have worked with Isuzu Trucks, Beijing West Industries (Luton), West Mercia Police, Worcester City Council, as well as many other SMEs in the local region. The company takes on jobs of all sizes, from one person shoots for companies, to full crew jobs with actors and locations.
“It was really good to hear at the awards the reason that I won. They mentioned that I showed care towards my customers. I guess this is why I have done well because most of my work has come from recommendations from my clients. I plan to grow on this and expand my network even further.
“This is the first award Storm Videos has won directly for managing a business, but I have also won other awards for my filmmaking at various film festivals around the world – Italy, Ukraine, America, Bulgaria – including Best Film and Best Editor.
“I see my career developing by continuing to build close relationships with my clients, providing a high quality service and producing videos that will be remembered by their customers.
“I not only want to grow the business to a level to support myself but also to provide career opportunities for others a few years down the line, as it is such a competitive industry for trying to get work in that area.”
This week Matt moved his business out from his home to Norfolk House East (just off Silbury Boulevard) in Milton Keynes.
In the Rural Business of the Year category, Pecks Farm Shop, Stockwell Farm, Eggington were named joint winners.
Fiona Peck told the LBO: “ Pecks Farm Shop is a multi -award winning family run local Farm Shop & Deli based on the outskirts of Leighton Buzzard on the A4012 towards Hockliffe.
“We pride ourselves on giving excellent customer service, having really different, fantastic products and supplying fresh fruit and veg – much of it local, in season.
“Pecks Farm shop was started 14 years ago when we stopped milking the cows and needed another income to support a growing young family.
“Not only is the farm shop thriving but the new hamper business is booming too. All the hampers are hand-made and beautifully decorated ,using the produce from the shop and either collected or can be sent all around the country.
“Winning the FSB award for Best Rural Business is amazing and we are thrilled to bits!”
Runner-up in the Business Person of the Year was Michelle Shulman of La Belle Cake Company of North Street, Leighton Buzzard.
Also a runner-up was TK Furniture, of Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard in the Community Business of the Year section.
Nicola Weeks, of George James Bridal, in Harpur Street, Bedford, scooped the prestigious overall county title
Ian Cording, chairman of the Bedfordshire branch of the FSB, was also the lead judge in a panel of 13 for the awards. He said: “Win, lose or draw, by being here, you have proved yourselves to be the true business champions.”
The award category winners in full were:
BEST NEW BUSINESS, sponsored by Spectrum Recruitment.
Winner: Smarta Healthcare, Priory Business Park, Bedford.
Runner-up: Go Houghton Bar and Restaurant, Houghton Regis.
APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR, sponsored by the FSB.
Winner: Aaron Foster, DCS Voice and Vision, Laporte Way, Luton.
Two runners-up: George Brightman, The Play Doctors, Main Road, Astwood and Carly Marjoribanks, Trademaid, Ampthill.
BUSINESS INNOVATION, sponsored by Colworth Park.
Winner: Bartham Press, Sundon Park, Luton.
Runner-up: Node IT Solutions, Station Road, Biggleswade
ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Basepoint Centres.
Winner: Miranda Tarpey, The UK Lash Institute, Britannia House, Leagrave Road, Luton.
Runner-up: Mostaque Koyes, Bartham Press Ltd, Luton
SERVICE EXCELLENCE, sponsored by Chameleon Personnel.
Winner: George James Bridal, Harpur St, Bedford.
Runner-up: Utilitrack, Lurke St, Bedford.
BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR, sponsored by the FSB.
Winner: Nicola Weeks, George James Bridal, Harpur Street, Bedford.
Runner-up: Michelle Shulman, La Belle Cake Company, North Street, Leighton Buzzard.
THE GREEN AWARD, sponsored by Luton Hoo.
Winner: Arabel Labrusan, Bedford.
Runner-up: Ecotile Flooring, North Luton Industrial Estate, Sedgwick Rd, Luton
NETWORKING GROUP OF THE YEAR, sponsored by the FSB
Winner: Bedfordshire Business Women.
Runner-up: Networking at Dunstable
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT, sponsored by Develop EBP.
Winner: Barnfield College, New Bedford Road, Luton.
Runner-up: Study Active.
BEST E-BUSINESS, sponsored by My Mustard.
Winner: Node IT Solutions, Baystrait House, Station Road, Biggleswade.
Runner-up: Study Active.
YOUNG BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR, sponsored by SEMLEP’s Velocity Growth Hub.
Winner: Matt Worthington, Storm Video Productions, Leighton Buzzard.
Runner-up: Gaetano Ciampa, Cartridge Depot, Bedford.
COMMUNITY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, sponsored by George Hay.
Winner: Viking Self Storage, Caxton Rd, Bedford.
Runner-up: TK Furniture, Hockliffe St, Leighton Buzzard.
ENTERPRISING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Central Bedfordshire Council.
Winner: Crannull Consulting, High Town Rd, Luton.
Runner-up: Stoten Gillam, High Street South, Dunstable.
RURAL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Oval Law.
Two winners: Pecks Farm Shop, Stockwell Farm, Eggington (near Hockliffe) and Foley Exhibitions, Kitchen End House, Kitchen End, Bedford.
BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE, sponsored by The Mall and decided by public vote
Winner: Putteridge Bury, Luton. (Events venue).
Runner-up: The Chequers, Westoning.
> Don’t forget to submit your business news to the LBO via email@example.com, mark it FAO Neil Pickford.