A mix of relatively-new and long-established businesses was recognised at the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters’ annual Eastside Business Awards.
The judging panel included City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters Mayor Robert Bria and Jim Plouffe and Johnny von Einem from Solstice Media, the publisher of InDaily, CityMag and SALIFE.
Mayor Bria said the Council’s Economic Development Strategy aims to promote different sectors, while maintaining the vibrancy and diversity of the business community.
“The Eastside Business Awards feed into this strategy through the recognition of businesses across many sectors,” Bria said.
“As such, the awards celebrate this diversity and help to make Norwood Payneham & St Peter’s a destination City.”
There are currently more than 7800 businesses in the City, and von Einem said the Awards struck the right balance in recognising the ever-changing landscape.
“The Norwood Payneham & St Peters council area has a really interesting mix of long-standing and traditional businesses and new energy from recently founded establishments,” he said.
“The Eastside Business Awards always reflect this diversity. This year we saw Reform and Cheeky Grin – both less than five years old – recognised alongside the nearly 20-year-old Taste of Nepal.”
Plouffe said he is pleased when new businesses make the finalists and winners lists, especially those doing something different and getting noticed.
He also said the public voting underpinned the judges’ decisions.
“Each year it becomes more and more obvious that the public is very much interested in voting for their favourite businesses, which makes it much easier as a judge,” Plouffe said.
Once again, a record number of public votes were cast across the 11 categories, while 316 businesses were nominated, almost 20 per cent more than last year.
Gelato Bello was recognised for its contribution to the fabric of the Council area for more than 20 years, winning the highly sought after Hall of Fame Award.
The Glynde institution has been serving up gelato and other sweet treats for almost three decades.
Best Customer Experience – always a hotly contested category – was awarded to Wheel & Barrow Homewares, located on The Parade, Norwood.
Also attracting a large share of the votes was Best Hair/Beauty Salon, won by Sueno Hair, which been a much-loved stalwart of St Morris since 2010.
Bria said the awards have an important role to play in the local community.
“All businesses want to be recognised amongst their competitors, to reinforce their point of difference to their existing and potential customers or clients,” he said.
“Winning an Eastside Business Award is an excellent way of achieving that.
“The Awards are a constant reminder that the Council respects and values the important role businesses have in providing jobs and livelihoods within our City, and the critical role they play in helping to build a sense of community.
“Strong local economies build strong local communities. The Hall of Fame Award for example, is not only recognition of longevity, but is also symbolic of the loyalty shown by customers and clients over many years.”
Cheeky Grin Coffee achieved back-to-back wins in the Best Coffee category – a significant feat given the business is only three years old.
Relative newcomers Reform Distilling, which began distilling gin in Kent Town in late 2021, won Best Food/Beverage Manufacturer.
“It’s always great to see new businesses awarded for quickly finding a following, and this was the case with Reform Distilling,” von Einem said.
“Not only have they been recognised for their reputable product, but their bar on Little Rundle Street has built its own audience.”
Bria pointed to the number of businesses that have not been nominated previously as “a positive sign that the Awards are held in high regard and something to aspire to”.
“Small businesses like the comfort of knowing the Council supports them, so I’d like to think that a new business starting up, or an existing business moving into the City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters, from elsewhere, looks at these Awards as symbolic of the support and recognition the Council can offer them.”
This year’s Award winners highlighted the diversity of businesses in the Council area.
Explore Potential Consulting, specialising in tailored HR, coaching and training solutions, won for Best Professional Service, while Marden Continental won Best Independent Small Business.
Other winners were the Mary MacKillop Museum for Best Arts & Culture/Entertainment Experience, Taste of Nepal for Best Café/Restaurant, Boutique Mon Ami for Best Fashion Retailer and The Colonist for Best Pub/Bar.
Judges Plouffe and von Einem shared their advice for businesses looking to improve their chances of being recognised by the awards in the future.
“The Eastside Business Awards are driven by the community that business owners create around their shops,” von Einem said.
“Tell your loyal customers about the competition and encourage them to vote.
“I’m sure they’d appreciate the opportunity to sing the praises of their favourite business, and would be more than happy to help you achieve the recognition the Awards provide.”
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