Weston’s top businesses scoop prizes at Chamber’s awards

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 February 2018

Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds shared the Businesswoman of the Year award. Picture: Andrew Thompson

Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds shared the Businesswoman of the Year award. Picture: Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson

The brains behind Weston-super-Mare’s popular food festivals were among the big winners at the Weston Business Awards this week, as the town’s blossoming enterprises were celebrated.

Loves Café won in the Best Hospitality category. Picture: Andrew ThompsonLoves Café won in the Best Hospitality category. Picture: Andrew Thompson

Weston’s top brass flocked to The Royal Hotel on Saturday to praise the town’s top entrepreneurs at Weston Chamber of Trade’s ceremony.

Chamber president Sue Shillabeer praised an ‘impressive’ list of finalists, which included Eat: Weston organisers Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds who shared the Vickie Brett Memorial Award for Businesswoman of the Year.

The pair co-ordinated a pair of festivals in Weston in 2017, each drawing thousands of foodies to the town centre, and are plotting three culinary showcases this year.

They said: “We loved working in Weston last year and are looking forward to three great festivals in the town in 2018.

The Helicopter Museum and Replenish share the Innovation prize. Picture: Andrew ThompsonThe Helicopter Museum and Replenish share the Innovation prize. Picture: Andrew Thompson

“We extend our thanks to everyone who nominated us, the producers who work with us, the sponsors who back us and the thousands of visitors who make each festival so memorable.”

It was also a night to remember for Meadow Street-based Replenish, Weston which scooped two awards. The shop, which sells produce with minimal packaging, was victorious in the Green Business category, and it shared the Innovation prize with The Helicopter Museum.

Replenish owner Holly Law said: “Our shop is a labour of love. We are here because we want to learn more about consuming ethically, and deliciously, while sharing that journey with others. It means a lot to be recognised for what we’re trying to do.”

Meadow Street jeweller Rose And Amber won the Outstanding Customer Service prize, and owner Diane Knowles told of her ‘delight’ in receiving the accolade.

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The Playhouse was named Weston’s best night-time venue, and menswear store Cecil Walker staved off fierce competition to receive the award for Independent Retailer of the Year.

Holistic therapy salon Sacred Willow was named best newcomer, and the Love Weston Award was handed to the Visitor Information Centre.

Loves Café won Best Hospitality, and the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust was recognised for its efforts to secure the pier’s future.

Ms Shillabeer said: “There was a great response to the awards this year and the quality of the local business entries has been impressive. The judges had a tough time deciding on the winners.”

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