Jess Gibson (The TN Card), Award sponsor Alexander Pushkin (Pushkin Antiques) & Eamonn Holmes
START-UP BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Name of winning business:TN Card
About: Set up in February 2020, the TN Card enables people to secure rewards and offers whilst purchasing locally and supporting the High Street.
Award sponsor: Pushkin Antiques
“I can’t believe we won this! There were so many deserving recipients in this category. The TN Card supports our local businesses, but all three of the other finalists opened during the pandemic” Jess Gibson
CREATIVE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Name of winning business: The Gallery Hairdressing
About: Originally set up in 1980 under the name Barnet Fair, this established family hairdressers was renamed The Gallery in 1995.
Award sponsor: HR Revolution
“It’s fantastic. It’s great to win something, and lovely to win something local” Lorenzo Colangelo
ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Name of winning business: Clarity Homes and Commercial
About: Rather than sit back, Andrew used the time in lockdowns to work on the business rather than in it, rebranding the company to Clarity Homes and Commercial in order to fit in with his mission to bring clarity to construction, raising the standards of the industry and changing the experience and expectations.
Award sponsor: Brewin Dolphin
“Oh, my God, it’s amazing. I’m not even sure yet where I’m going to put the award, (but it’s amazing)” Andrew Mann
FAMILY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Name of winning business: Jaques of London
About: Founded in 1795, Jaques of London are 8th generation toys and games makers – the oldest in the world. Famed for creating family titles, such as Snakes & Ladders, Ping Pong and Ludo, they are underpinned by the century’s old motto of ‘Teaching the World to Play’.
Award sponsor: Childrensalon
“I feel ecstatic. The Jaques family is quite a modest one and it’s really a privilege to be propelling them into the limelight and telling everyone what they’ve been doing for 227 years” Kate Luke
YOUNG BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR
Name of winning individual: Oliver Corkery (Corker Outdoor)
About: Oliver joined the family business six years ago, with his focus firmly on evolving the the company into something exciting and new that would stand out in the industry. With renewed vision, he set about building the ideal team to get the job done. Oliver introduced modern marketing strategies, enabling the business to grow 300% during this time.
Award sponsor: Lawson Commercial
“It’s brilliant, so brilliant. We came to the awards in 2019, and it’s nice to come back again and win something” Oliver Corkery
RESILIENT BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Name of winning business: IPT Fitness
About: In March 2020 due to the pandemic all businesses in this sector had to close their doors, instead of sitting back and waiting the business adapted to an online model ensuring not only connected with existing clients but also attracted business. Lessons learnt from the pandemic have enabled to the business to diversify and futureproof.
Award sponsor: Handelsbanken
“We were definitely not expecting to win – we’re so small. But we’re so happy with the award – thank you!” Aimee and Mase Leuluniu
BEST IN FOOD & DRINK
Name of winning business: Balfour Winery
About: Balfour are a 400-acre family-owned estate in the Garden of England, with vast ancient woodlands, vineyards, apple orchards and wildflower meadows. The estate combines conservation with an unrivalled spirit of hospitality and generosity.
Award sponsor: SitSmart
“It’s been a lot of work. The wine speaks for itself, but the food to go along with is something we’ve really put a lot of work into” James Fitzgerald
BEST BUSINESS 1-25 EMPLOYEES
Name of winning business: TN Recruits
About: TN RECRUITS based in Tunbridge Wells offer permanent and Temporary Recruitment in Law, Accountancy, Automotive and general office-based roles.
Award sponsor: Charles Stanley
“I’m elated. The award will have pride of place in our office. I’d like to get a picture with all of us as well – not just those here tonight – because it’s down to every single member of my team. We never lose sight of the fact that that we are here to help businesses to grow, or to help people with their careers. We never take profit over purpose” Neil Simmons
BEST BUSINESS 26+ EMPLOYEES
Name of winning business: Thomas Mansfield
About: THOMAS MANSFIELD was Established in 2004 by Tunbridge Wells residents, Neill Thomas, and Jonathan Mansfield, Thomas Mansfield Solicitors is a specialist law firm practicing employment, dispute resolution, family and private client law in London and the Southeast.
Award sponsor: The Finance Hub
“It’s amazing. We’re very pleased. I’m actually shocked. We were pretty sure we weren’t going to win it, as we won an award in 2019” Neill Thomas
OUTSTANDING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Name of winning business: Corker Outdoor
About: CORKER OUTDOOR lies somewhere between a specialist builders’ merchant, catering for landscapers and garden designers, and a garden centre. Five years ago, they rebranded from Small Loads Ltd., creating their own lane, moving away from the local and more regular builders’ yards to something more inspirational and lifestyle orientated.
Award sponsor: Thomson Snell & Passmore
“It’s fantastic.We all worked hard, and it’s brilliant just to have this recognition – just the pat on the back for that” Mick Corkery
Awards Website: timesbusinessawards.co.uk
Photography: David Bartholomew © Times of Tunbridge Wells