Naturally Inspiring Business Awards 2024

Naturally Inspiring Business Awards 2024

The Torbay Weekly Naturally Inspiring Business Awards 2024 are calling for entries!  Here’s your chance to showcase your business and to celebrate all that is good about it.

The categories and category sponsors are:

  • Overall Business of the Year (the winner of winners from the night)
  • Tourism Business of the Year – English Riviera BID Company
  • Inspiring Employer of the Year – South Devon College
  • Best New Business – Wollens
  • Commissioner’s Community Champion Award – Office of Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Small Business of the Year – Torbay Business Forum
  • Rising Star Award – Princess Theatre
  • Greener Futures Award – Stagecoach
  • Outstanding Apprentice of the Year – Inter-Line Building Supplies
  • James Wright Award for Inspirational Leader (the ‘Jimmy’ award) Majestic Holidays
  • Innovation Award 

The closing date for entries is 12pm on Friday 26th April

To enter the Awards go to

The glittering awards finals night at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay is on Thursday 13th June 2024, which is a night of celebration not to be missed.

To buy tickets/tables for the finals night go to :

Brixham scoops two awards

Brixham scoops two awards

Brixham Chamber members Tanny Stobart of Play Torbay and Gina Franchi of IMS Marketing picked up well-deserved awards in an inspiring night of celebration at the Torbay Weekly Business Awards on 15th June. Tanny was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her inspirational work championing young people in the community. Digital marketing specialist Gina was named Young Business Person of the Year for her outstanding skills helping many local businesses to grow and to increase their online presence.

Almost 300 people attended the Naturally Inspiring awards gala finals night at the Riviera International Conference in Torquay.

Hi-tech company QLM Technology were crowned Business of the Year. With a base at the EPIC Centre off the Torbay Ring Road in Paignton, they are carrying out world-pioneering work in the battle against climate change. They have developed a new type of laser imaging, detection, and ranging camera based on quantum technology that can see and accurately quantify greenhouse gas emissions. The gas imager enables customers to monitor, detect and accurately locate and quantify greenhouse gas emission sources for rapid repair.

QLM, who also won the Best New Business category, were one of several companies from Torbay’s hi-tech’ cluster to taste success on the night with Bay Photonics (Innovation) and Spirent Communications (Inspiring Employer) also picking up awards.

Casting Support Systems, led by Ted Head, won the Environmental Award to cap a great year for the Paignton-based company who were awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise just a few month ago.

The tourism and hospitality sector were also celebrating success. Splashdown, who are planning major improvements at their Goodrington water park, and award-winning Beverley Holidays joint winners of the Best Tourism Business category.

Lorraine Arnold, from Pier Point in Torquay, was named James Wright Inspirational Business Leader of the Year – an award nicknamed the ‘Jimmy’ award in memory of the late James Wright from Majestic Holidays and presented by his son Mark. And digital marketing specialist Gina Franchi was named Young Business Person.

Expanding training firm Essential 6 won the Small Business category and Sound Communities were awarded the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez’s award for its work out in the community and with young people.

Torbay Weekly editor Jim Parker presented Lifetime Achievements to Tanny Stobart for her inspirational work championing young people out in the community, and Nick Powe, whose pre-historic Kents Cavern caves and business stretch back 165 people.

Andy-Banner Price, who with husband Julian runs the 25 Boutique B&B in Torquay, gave an inspiring talk on how they created success at the 25 Boutique and how had only recently battled inspiringly and successfully against cancer.

Original story by Jim Parker on Torbay Weekly

Torbay Weekly Business Awards bigger and better

Torbay Weekly Business Awards bigger and better

The stage is all set for one of the biggest highlights of Torbay’s business calendar – the Torbay Weekly Naturally Inspiring Business Awards 2023.

Last year’s inaugural awards were dubbed a huge success and 2023 promises to be bigger and better.

The gala evening and black tie finals night has already been booked for Thursday, June 15, at Torquay’s English Riviera International Conference Centre with room for 450 guests.

Last year’s finals night was packed with surprises, joy, jubilation and emotion as Torbay’s business community were able to celebrate success together for the first time since two years of Covid and lockdowns.

And that is exactly what the awards are all about – bringing people together, having some fun and celebrating what a great place Torbay is to live, work, visit and invest in.

We have a fantastic Torbay Story to tell, a story which reflects and recognises the people and the passion and pride they have in a place like the English Riviera – so well reflected in our awards.

It is why Torbay Council have agreed to again be the sponsors of the main Naturally Inspiring Overall Business of the Year Award – the champion of champions, the business with a story to tell and promote the Bay.

Over the coming weeks, we will be taking at look at our sponsors and categories – some of them new.

Here they are:

Overall Business of the Year – Torbay Council

Tourism Business of the Year – English Riviera BID Company

Small Business of the Year – Torbay Business Forum

New Business – Wollens

Employer of the Year – South Devon College

Award for Innovation – TDA

Commissioner’s Business Community Champion Award – Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner

Environmental Business Award – Prydis

James Wright Award for Inspirational Leader – Majestic Holidays

Young Business Person of the Year Award – Inter-Line Building Supplies

Beverley Holidays had double reason to celebrate last year – they scooped two top awards at the 2022 Torbay Weekly Naturally Inspiring Business Awards.

The Paignton-based holiday park group overcame tough competition from a high calibre of companies to take the coveted Business Of The Year award, as well as being named Tourism Business Of The Year.

The glittering award ceremony celebrated the sheer grit and determination shown by the business fraternity in battling their way out of the tough economic times. Now we want to extend, drive forward and celebrate that fighting spirit.

Torbay Weekly editor Jim Parker said: “Hand on heart, we didn’t have a clue how the first awards would go but they turned out to be a great success. That was down to a lot of people, not least the businesses and individuals who entered and made it possible in the first place. Can we make it a repeat performance or even bigger and better? I sincerely hope so.

“We have so many great businesses and people out there with great stories to tell. My plea is: Please enter – and enter NOW.

Use the link below to go directly to the awards entry page:

Enter the Torbay Weekly Business Awards

“Entries close on Friday May 26 – so get cracking!”

Jo from Guardhouse Café wins SW barista competition

Jo from Guardhouse Café wins SW barista competition

It was firsts all round as espresso maker Johanna Harakis won her first barista competition – the competition was also the first held by regional coffee roasters Owens Coffee.

Johanna, who works at The Guardhouse Café at Berry Head, Brixham, was named the first Owens Coffee barista champion in a new contest to find the best espresso maker. Baristas from across the region competed for the title. Luna Moretti of The Guardhouse Café was also shortlisted.

Johanna said: “This is my first ever barista competition so I’ve been a bit nervous. You’ve got to make sure the coffee comes out at the right speed – about 22 to 25 seconds – and the weight of the coffee is around 16 to 18 grams.

“If it’s too quick it comes out bitter and acidic – if you get it right it’s smooth and it’s lush and you get a really good hit.”

Jenny McDonough, head of training and talent at Owens Coffee, said there was a serious side to the competition.

“I’ve been in the hospitality industry for a long time in the South West and the feeling that you are just a waiter or just someone serving coffee is something I’d like to see the end of – because it is a career, a profession,” she said.

“We want people who are working in the industry to know there’s a lot more out there if they want it – and we want them to know they are respected in the profession.

“It is important to encourage talent and professional ability, which is something that we champion at Owens.

“There are different brew ratios and there are guidelines on how to make the perfect espresso.

“The competition tested the barista’s knowledge and their interpretation of those guidelines. Competitors chose one of our coffees for the espresso and two milk-based drinks and then told the judges how to set up the calibration of the espresso machine to make the perfect cup.”

Lorraine Bridden, founder of Owens Coffee, said: “We take a huge amount of pride in sourcing our coffee beans and roasting them to perfection – but you can make or break a cup of coffee if the calibration in the machine isn’t right. It’s about getting the flavours right and presenting the coffee.

“A good cup has to taste right and be well presented. But the competition is not just about the coffee – it is about enthusiasm and passion too.

“This is about showcasing good barista skills across the region and because of this, our first competition has been a great success – hopefully, we will make it bigger in the future.”

Guest judge Esther-Hope Gibbs, added: “This has been a great event for baristas across the South West. There hasn’t been a competition like this for a long time in the region.

“These baristas have showcased their skills, have had an opportunity to meet and chat with other industry professionals who are as passionate about coffee as they are, and a chance to learn more from each other too. The prizes were fab, too!”

First prize included an Ottomatic CHEMEX Coffeemaker from Marco Beverages Systems worth more than £300. There were also prizes from Eversfield Organic, Flapjackery, Boo Chi Kombucha, Luscombe Drinks and Bar Buoy Cocktails.

Original story on Torbay Weekly

Platinum for Chocella at Devon Food and Drink Awards 2022

Platinum for Chocella at Devon Food and Drink Awards 2022

Devon’s talented food and drink scene was alive at Monday (3rd October) night’s 11th Food Drink Devon Awards.  Over 330 individuals from the county’s finest food and drink producers, hospitality and catering businesses and  speciality retailers celebrated in style at the esteemed awards’ ceremony, held at Crowne Plaza Plymouth with its  breath-taking views overlooking Plymouth Sound.

The ceremony was hosted by Tony Hawks, Devon-based comedian, author and food lover who regularly appears on BBC Radio Four panel shows ‘Have I Got News For You’, ’Just A Minute’ and ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue’.

The Food Drink Devon awards celebrate the very best Devon has to offer by recognising and championing the county’s most respected, influential and passionate artisan food and drink producers and establishments. Year on year we have seen the standard increasing with every award being hotly contended with this our eleventh year being no exception.

Brixham’s Chocella won the coveted Platinum Award and owner Tracy Clarke commented “Words can’t describe going on to win ‘Platinum’ at the Food Drink Devon 2022/23 Awards for our ‘Out of this World’ chocolate ball. In another producers words – ‘This is the accolade that all producers in Devon go for and hope to win’ so can’t quite believe I’ve managed to achieve this. A huge shout out to @FoodDrinkDevon who are a great network to be part of and super supportive!

Inspiration for the design came from how our planet is today and what we need to do to take care of it as much as possible. A beautiful range of our lovely hand crafted chocolates were inside for the judges to taste, so I’m over the moon to have won this. Once again thank you all who have supported me for the last 5 years and being with me on this incredible chocolate journey”

Huge congratulations to these Brixham based businesses who picked up awards:


Chocella – Out of this World Chocolate Ball & a Variety of Chocolates


Brixham Gin – Market Garden: Strawberry Gin, Market Garden: Rhubarb Ginger & Hibiscus


Brixham Gin – Tattered Sails, Red Sails

Brixham Maid – Fruity Marmalade

Chocella – Gluten Free Salted Caramel Fudge Brownie