Independent traders made a big splash at this year’s Brilliant Business Awards, with a market florist, a theatre and two popular local restaurants among the winners.
Also celebrating success are a Hammersmith-based firm that creates digital learning platforms for schools, a pub in the heart of Brackenbury Village and a social enterprise that supports local volunteers.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes battled it out in the shortlist for 14 top titles, as nominated by residents, shoppers and workers. The winners were revealed on Wednesday, November 26, when Hammersmith & Fulham Council put the spotlight on the most outstanding local firms, entrepreneurs and community-minded enterprises in a ceremony at Hammersmith Town Hall.
The People’s Choice award for the business with the most public votes went to Azou, a North African restaurant run by husband-and-wife team Chris and Chrstine Benarab in King Street, Hammersmith, which also took the title of Best Food Business.
Christine said: ”It was fantastic to be nominated in eight categories. We were absolutely overjoyed to be named Best Food Business, and winning the People's Choice award was the icing on the cake.
"I'd like to say thank you to all our loyal customers and to our team, because it's been a real team effort."
Cllr Andrew Jones, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said: “The success of local businesses small and large is vital to the future of Hammersmith & Fulham’s economy, and I commend all this year’s winners for their hard-won awards. We now look forward to working ever more closely with local firms to make sure all parts of our borough enjoy a thriving business environment.”
Rebecca Cutts, who set up Becky Blooms in North End Road Market three years ago, was delighted to win the title of Best Fulham Business.
She said: “I’m really pleased - I didn’t expect to win, being a market stall when most of the other finalists were established businesses. For the first six months after we launched, we didn’t make any profit, but it grew very organically by word of mouth.
“The way we handle our customers has really reflected in the feedback that we get. We often deal with bereaved people and we try to go beyond the call of duty, like liaising with the funeral parlour so the family doesn’t have to do that.”
One of the biggest success stories of the night was the Hammersmith estate agent Horton & Garton, which won two awards: Marketing and Best Independent Local Business. The family firm was also a runner-up in the Innovation category.
Founder John Horton said: “It’s been a fantastic evening, everyone enjoyed coming down and going up on stage. We have a big team of people, including many who we don’t see in the office every day, and I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who pulled together and helped us win this award.”
H&F Council is supporting Small Business Saturday on December 6, when North End Road will be made traffic-free for the day for a fantastic festive market.
The full list of winners and runners-up is as follows:
People’s Choice (public vote)
RUNNER-UP: Naama (Deli W12 7LL)