WINDMILL WIN: Kirsty Rogers and Joey Caruana were among the local business people to receive awards at Saturday night's Bundaberg Business Excellence Awards.
WINDMILL WIN: Kirsty Rogers and Joey Caruana were among the local business people to receive awards at Saturday night's Bundaberg Business Excellence Awards. contributed

Business excellence awards shine light on locals

BUNDABERG has plenty to offer and on Saturday evening 21 small and large local businesses had their chance to shine at the annual Business Excellence Awards.

And, watched on by more than 340 businesspeople, the winners were announced.

One such business who took out an award was The Windmill cafe at Bargara.

The co-owner of the unique cafe in the beachy suburb, Joey Caruana said it was a "great joy” to be the recipients of the Tourism Culinary Business of the year award.

Mr Caruana said he was grateful to be involved in the awards, and the joy of winning not just reserved to him and his partner, Kirsty Rogers, but their staff as well.

"My staff got the news before I even got the chance to get off stage,” Mr Caruana said.

"So we got lots of texts from customers, friends and family pretty immediately because of social media.”

HIGH ACHIEVER: Life Achievement Award winner Trish Mears.
HIGH ACHIEVER: Life Achievement Award winner Trish Mears.

He said running the business for the last year and half had given them a unique insight into both the hospitality and tourism sides of business within the region.

"I reflect on our community engagement ... our ethos is community first and our destination first,” he said.

"We live in this community, we work here and our children are raised here.”

Mr Caruana said they were now more inspired than ever to shoot for the stars, and were already planning to enter into another award, and working with Bundaberg tourism to do so.

"Hopefully a little local windmill by the beach can take on big guys in the state and bring something back for Bundy,” he said.

As for the 20 other businesses who were honoured at the ceremony, Mr Caruana offered his congratulations to the many "inspirational” businesses.

"Brett Lakey from Lady Musgrave Experience and Duncan and his team from Bundaberg Rum, and others, have been so inspirational and forerunners in our industry.”

AND THE WINNERS ARE...

  • New Business of the Year: Serenity Skin Spa Bundaberg
  • Micro / Home Based Business: HOTI
  • Tourism Accommodation Business of the Year: Rocky Point Retreat
  • Health and Well Being Business of the Year: Southern Cross Support Services
  • Personal Services Business of the Year: Vanish Ink
  • Tourism Festivals and Events Business of the Year: Agrotrend
  • Professional Services Business of the Year: Sugarland Animal Hospital
  • Community Organisation of the Year: The Waves
  • Tourism Culinary Business of the Year: The Windmill
  • Trades Business of the Year: Bundaberg Motor Group and Bug Me Pest Solutions
  • Industrial & Manufacturing Business of the Year: Best Practice Software
  • Retail Business of the Year: Queensland Computers
  • Tourism Visitor Attractions Business of the Year: Lady Musgrave Experience and Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience
  • Agribusiness of the Year: Northside Produce Agency
  • Tourism New Business of the Year: CMCA Bundaberg RV Park
  • CQUniversity Student of the Year: Emily Smith and Alana Sinnamon
  • Hospitality Business of the Year: Alowishus Delicious
  • People's Choice Award - Bundaberg and District Chamber of Commerce: Alowishus Delicious
  • President's Award - Bundaberg: Grae Shelton, Wide Bay Real Estate
  • President's Award - Childers: Paragon Theatre
  • President's Award - Coral Coast: Lady Musgrave Experience
  • Life Achievement Award: Trish Mears
  • Auswide Bank Business of the Year: Best Practice Software


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