WBA 2018

Weston-super-Mare Chamber of Commerce
Weston Business Awards 2018

Click on a Category Below to See More

Best Night-Time Venue
sponsored by Vanguard Surveillance and Security

Open to all public houses, night clubs, night cafeterias, restaurants, cinema, leisure venues, amusement arcades etc., who demonstrate policies and safeguards towards the Prevention of Crime and Disorder; Public Safety; Prevention of Public Nuisance; a Safe Environment; and overall an environment that makes a venue stand out above the rest.

The Finalist are
The Imperial Pub
The Playhouse Theatre
The Reaper Bar

and the winner is….

The Playhouse sells excellent value for money, internationally acclaimed entertainment, providing the community with a strong and varied arts programme.
“It’s a real privilege to win the award of Best Night-Time Venue as providing entertainment to the community is at the heart of what we do,” says Mark Thompson, Regional General Manager.
The Playhouse reopened in 1969 after a fire in 1964, but there has been a theatre on the site since 1946. The theatre today has around 40 members of staff, ranging from the office, front of house and backstage – all of whom play integral parts in bringing the very best service to audiences.
The Playhouse continues to move from strength to strength bringing a wealth of popular award-winning shows from the West End and further afield. 2017 saw the playhouse produce the in-house pantomime for the first time.

Best Hospitality
sponsored by Weston College

Awarded to independent hotels, restaurants, café’s, coffee shops etc. who have the Best Hospitality as nominated by customers.

The Finalist are
Il Michelangelo
Mr Beans Coffee Shop

and the winner is….

Loves Cafe has made the bold (and informed) decision to become a Vegetarian Restaurant.
It’s a change we’ve wanted to make for some time, and after much research and consideration we are taking the plunge!
This change will allow us to focus on creating the best possible veggie and vegan menus we can, which will change monthly and with the grow seasons.
We hope everyone will want to try our new menus, which will offer, tasty, filling, wholesome, vibrant and beautiful dishes, for everyone (not just vegetarians and vegans).
We are proud of our decision. It’s fits with the ethics of the business, and also the type of food we want to provide Weston with.
We hope you will continue to support us, and come and see us soon try all of our delicious new treats!

Green Business of The Year
sponsored by Astron Fire & Security

Open to businesses and organisations who demonstrate an active commitment to good environmental practice, including removing pollutants & single-use plastics from the environment.

The Finalist are
Replenish Weston
Somerset Wood Recycling

and the winner is….

Replenish Weston
Husband and wife team, Holly and Rik Law (with help from Holly’s mum) run Replenish, selling loose food to ‘scoop and weigh’ to reduce packaging, enabling customers to buy just what they need. From seeds, nuts, beans, grains, herbs and spices, to dried fruit, cereal, sugar and pasta, more than half of stock is organic and all is GMO free.
Established less than a year ago, their shop on Meadow Street also sells a growing range of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free food, mostly organic and fair trade. Natural, cruelty-free household cleaning and toiletries are also on sale, again with a focus of the refillable including laundry liquid, washing up liquid, fabric conditioner, hand wash, shampoo and conditioner. They also sell shampoo bars, face clays and lip balms from a small local supplier and a range of natural shampoos and conditioners.
Replenish also uses plastic-free alternatives such as stainless-steel straws, bamboo toothbrushes, soy wax wraps and reusable cotton makeup wipes.
Holly said: “We are over the moon to have been nominated for not one but two awards! Our shop is a labour of love, we are here because we want to learn more about consuming more ethically (and deliciously) while sharing that journey with others. It means a lot to be recognised for what we’re trying to do.
“Our aim is to increase access to ethical, organic and delicious food while reducing the need for unnecessary packaging waste. This year we’ll be focusing on making eating good food easier – so look out for blog posts full of delicious recipes and recipe kits in store over the next few months.”

Independent Retailer
sponsored by North Somerset Council

Nominations are open for independent retailers based in Weston-super-Mare, who demonstrate success and achievement in any, or some, of the following criteria: commitment to the local business community; excellent customer service; local product range; innovative marketing campaigns; well-presented shop front; quirky and unique; entrepreneurial spirit.

The Finalist are
Cecil Walker
Orchard News
Rose & Amber

and the winner is….

Cecil Walker
Tim and Abbe Walker said: “We were surprised and delighted in equal measure to hear of our nomination and being made a finalist. This is a first for us so it would be fantastic to win!
“We are a small family business, which has been trading from the same building since 1911. It was originally opened by Cecil as a master shirt makers and tailor. Today we are a much more contemporary menswear store.”

sponsored by Hutton Moor Leisure Centre

Please provide a brief overview of the innovative idea / approach / product / service; and why the recipient is deserving. This is an Award for a business, organisation or individual who has developed a novel approach to achieving recognisable, measurable and/or profitable outcomes. Please give as much information as possible including any concept, market or performance data to support the nomination.

The Finalist are
Helicopter Museum
Inspire Coaching Ltd
Replenish Weston

and the winner is….


The Helicopter Museum Replenish
Hellicopter Replenish

The Helicopter Museum
The Helicopter Museum has over 80 helicopters in the collection with the ones on display housed in the main display building
Visitors can also view a number of conservation projects in progress in the restoration area
Throughout the year the museum hosts a number of exciting events including:
Air Experience Flights which can be booked on line or directly with the museum
Open Cockpit days offer an opportunity to learn more about how a helicopter flies while seated in a helicopter

Replenish Weston

  • Stocks a wide selection of organic, fairtrade, vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan products with a focus on ‘scoop and weigh’ goods – saving you money as you only buy what you need;
  • Provides a selection of cookery books for you to browse for inspiration;
  • Makes shopping with small children easier by providing a play nook for little ones so parents & carers can browse in peace;
  • Will be creating ‘recipe maps’ of tasty meals encouraging you to shop at other local businesses.

You are invited to bring your own containers to refill with our selection of delicious ingredients (recycled paper bags will also be available in store).
This saves you money as you only buy what you need, and saves our beautiful planet from coping with excessive packaging waste.

Love Weston
sponsored by McDonald’s

Open to businesses that demonstrate commitment to Weston and place value on engaging with others to support the local economy and fulfil the Chamber’s objective of promoting Weston as the place to live and work as well as the ideal holiday destination.

The Finalist are
eat: Weston
Groves Family Funeral Directors
Visitor Information Centre

and the winner is….

Visitor Information Centre
The Visitor Information Centre, based at the Tropicana on Weston Seafront, operates on a seasonal basis as the main point of information for both visitors and residents of the town. The team advertises and supports the town’s accommodation, attractions, places to eat, shops and all local businesses through www.loveweston.com, Weston’s first dedicated, official destination website which promotes the town and highlights it alongside competitor seaside destinations.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be nominated for the Love Weston Award and to be in the company of two other outstanding candidates,” says Caroline Darlington, Tourism Manager.
The Visitor Information Centre uses Quality in Tourism standards to increase tourism and to support the business and tourism economy of Weston-super-Mare. As a not-for-profit-venture, all advertising income generated is reinvested into national destination marketing campaigns to promote the town to potential visitors.
The team includes Head of Tourism Department Tania Middlemiss, Tourism Manager Caroline Darlington, Tourism Marketing Officer, Ellie Allen-Somers and five seasonal summer staff.

Making A Difference
sponsored by Mead Realisations

Open to registered charities and not-for-profit organisations that have made a positive social impact in the local community.

The Finalist are
Children’s Scrapstore North Somerset
The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust
Weston and District Community Transport

and the winner is….

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust
Established in 2004, 20 volunteers currently support the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust which is working towards saving Birnbeck Pier so its heritage can be enjoyed by future generations and visitors to Weston.
Richard Griffin Project Director says, “to get nominated for the award is a fantastic achievement for the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust. This goes to show the Trustees and Volunteers that their hard work is appreciated and it’s noticed that we are making a difference to our community.”
Birnbeck Pier, known locally as the Old Pier, was built between 1864 and 1867. It is a unique structure, being the only British seaside pier that links the mainland to an island. Over its lifetime it has enjoyed mixed fortunes. In its heyday, it was the Victorian and then Edwardian equivalent of a modern theme-park, with tourist attractions such as a water slide and fairground rides. It was a major transportation link, with scheduled steam ship services arriving from and departing to destinations including Cardiff, Minehead, Ilfracombe and Lundy Island.

Outstanding Customer Service
sponsored by Weston-super-Mare Bid

Awarded to a company or individual who can demonstrate success in achieving service excellence as nominated by employers, customers, line managers or colleagues.

The Finalist are
Emma Walvin
Rose & Amber

and the winner is….

Rose and Amber
Often referred to as a ‘one stop holistic shop’, Rose and Amber sells a wide range of clothes, crystals and jewellery as well as other fair trade and ethically sourced items.
Rose and Amber was established by Diane Knowles as a hobby 16 years ago, selling at festivals and shows. On a daytrip to Weston 12 years ago, Diane decided that the hobby would become a career and took a unit in the Tudor Market. The business grew rapidly and 18 months later she moved to Meadow Street where she has been based ever since.
Diane Knowles said: “I am delighted to be a finalist for the fourth year running for outstanding customer service as it is the foundation on which I have built Rose and Amber, believing that the service customers receive is as important as the goods that they purchase.
“I believe that in this era of internet shopping and goods being purchased at the click of a mouse, being a finalist in the category of Independent Retailer shows that there is still room for good old- fashioned shopping where you can browse to your heart’s content in the knowledge that you will leave with something that is different and unique.
“We are getting ready to open up two treatment rooms, as well as developing our home furnishing section and a relaxation area.
“I’m frequently asked if I’d prefer to be on the busier High Street but I say ‘no’, as I believe that the time spent with customers getting to know and understand their wants and needs is as important as the goods they leave with.”

Sian Lloyd-Jones – New Business

sponsored by North Somerset Enterprise Agency

Awarded to Business that have been trading for more than two years but less than five years at the time of applying.

The Finalist are
Perrett Neads Hair & Beauty Salon
Pinups Hair Salon
Sacred Willow

and the winner is….

Sacred Willow
After a serious health scare in 2009, Sacred Willow owner Kerry Lamerton was diagnosed with a very rare neurological condition. After a few years of tests, different treatments and medications, she was ready to move on and live life to the fullest. She studied meditation, spiritual development (which she had always been interested in) and went to college to train in complementary therapies and discovered she was a healer. Now qualified as an educator, Kerry teaches those who want to learn to become a therapist or to add to their current skill set and plans to open a training academy in the near future.
Due to referrals and demand, business grew and in August 2015, Kerry moved into a commercial property and made it into a salon. She’s now looking at opening another salon. Her dedication and hard work is recognised by the local hospital physio department and the local branch of ‘The Daisy Foundation’, which refer their pregnant patients to her.
Kerry says: “It’s a real privilege to have been nominated in not one but two categories. And when I found out I was a finalist, I was speechless, which is a first for me. I do what I do out of passion and never look for recognition, but feel honoured the hard work and dedication from myself and my team has been recognised.”
Sacred Willow is a safe haven which allows everyone to enjoy holistic, complementary and beauty therapies in their relaxing salon. They help to restore your natural balance, wellbeing and enhance your natural beauty in an easy going yet professional atmosphere, with a consistently high level of care and quality.
They offer a variety of massages, reflexology, hopi ear candling, skincare facials, waxing, spray tanning, eyelash extensions, manicure and pedicures and more, including a small retail area which includes luxury, but fun bath bombs.

Vickie Brett Memorial Award – Businesswoman of The Year
sponsored by Brorn Windows & Conservatories

Presented in memory of Vickie Brett, former President of Weston-super-Mare Chamber of Commerce, this award recognises the accomplishments of businesswomen who can demonstrate proven business acumen, achievements and/or community engagement.

The Finalist are
Bev & Sarah Milner Simonds
Kaysha Potter
Kerry Lamerton

and the winner is….

Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds
Bev and Sarah launched their first food and drink festival in 2012 and have organically grown their Eat: events since then, steadily increasing producer numbers, adding more elements and since 2016 working in more host towns. Two highly successful Eat: Weston events were held in 2017, reconnecting residents with the town centre and providing a platform for local food and drink producers.
“We are over the moon to be shortlisted in two categories,” say Bev and Sarah. “We loved working in Weston-super-Mare last year and are looking forward to three great festivals in the town in 2018.”
Working as a tight team, Bev and Sarah create locally focused food and drink festivals that aim to reconnect town centres and their residents to the land that surrounds them.
“We are a social enterprise and reinvest in our communities and take our sustainability ambitions very seriously. For us that includes creating festivals that are economically sustainable so there are no high pitch fees meaning we attract micro and small local producers.”
Eat: festivals aim to promote and work in partnership with farmers’ markets, giving priority to local producers to help them build more regular customers and so keep the money in the local economy.
The Eat: team were recently awarded Best Event Organisers in the UK by the National Outdoor Event Association and are South West Finalists for Rural Enterprise in the Countryside Alliance Awards.
In 2018 Bev and Sarah will run eight festivals, including three in Weston-super-Mare on April 7, September 22 and December 15. All will be single-use plastic free and all waste will be bio-degradable.