For Sam Worrall-Thompson – the owner of Magill Road brunch spot Fine & Fettle -last year’s Eastside Business Awards win came at a very peculiar time.
The Stepney eatery took out the prize of Best Restaurant only two weeks before COVID-19 restrictions forced him to close for seated dining. Providing customers with takeaway was his only option to keep money coming in.
But Fine & Fettle, which opened four years ago in May, saw an influx of customers who heard about it through the Eastside Business Awards.
“One of the things we struggled with was consistency. We can be really busy for breakfast and lunch but nothing mid-morning,” Sam says.
“I think the Award win allowed us to hit a demographic that we hadn’t previously appealed to. We do Facebook and Instagram but not everyone is on those. So being in the mainstream media targets a different market. As a result, we had a new demographic come through the door.
“That in turn has allowed us to become more consistent and really refine our business model.
“We can now open at nights and it’s just a more well-rounded business.”
Solstice Media, the publisher of InDaily, SALIFE and CityMag, is partnering with the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters for this year’s Eastside Business Awards, which is in its fourth year.
The Award categories are: best cafe, customer experience, fashion retailer, independent retailer, restaurant, entertainment venue, coffee, emerging start-up, pub or bar, food and beverage manufacturer and hair or beauty salon.
There is also a Hall of Fame Award for a business that has been operating in the area for more than 20 years.
Winning businesses receive $1,000 in advertising to be spent with Solstice Media and a choice of business advisory service (business planning, budget and forecasting or bookkeeping training) to the value of $1,000 with BIAS, while voters can win a $250 voucher for a business of their choice in the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters.
Solstice Media editor Jim Plouffe says he is pleased to be a judge for the awards.
“Not only because it is a good cause, but also because it’s a great way to dig out business stories for our Business Insight edition and for The Lead South Australia news service,” Jim says.
“There is so much going on down the side streets and in suburban offices that might not get the recognition it deserves, awards like these help fix that problem.”
Norwood Payneham & St Peters Mayor Robert Bria says “now more than ever the recognition of small businesses that the awards create is absolutely vital.”
“Whether that is shining a light on exceptional service from staff at a busy café or acknowledging the hard work of a tradesperson, whose business is nestled in a side street,” Robert says.
“As a former small business owner, I understand the economic impact that Covid restrictions have had on many local traders and businesses, and the need to adapt and perhaps change their business model.
“The Eastside Business Awards have proven to be a worthwhile initiative.”
Voting opens on February 18 and runs until March 18. Finalists will be named on March 31, with winners announced online on April 14.