2019 Winners

The 2019 Swale Business Awards were held on 18th October 2019 at the Kent Event Centre. Guests were treated to a fabulous three-course meal with entertainment from band Marylebone Jelly, magicians and a roulette and blackjack table.

Swale Business of the Year 2019

Burden Bros Agri

The judges were very impressed with the continued progress of this business and their innovative approach to challenging some long standing industry 'norms'. The business benefits from an impressive senior management team whom have established a very strong and focused business culture. There is a clear vision of where the business is heading; and also the actions and milestones that they need to achieve to get there. The success of Burden Bros Agri really is based on the collective drive and desire of the whole team. 

The enthusiasm and commitment of the senior management is infectious and the judges can't wait to see the future progress of this truly impressive business.

Sittingbourne Business of the Year

Kayo Digital

Kayo Digital offer a wide range of tailored digital solutions to the private and public sector, including eCommerce systems, mobile apps, websites and bespoke software.  Kayo made two acquisitions in 2018 to expand their service offering.  At the same time, they have continued to increase their customer base and invest in their staff.  The judges were impressed by the Kayo team’s slick presentation, their clarity about where they stand in the marketplace and where the business is heading. 

Sheppey Business of the Year

Elmley Nature Reserve

This company is achieving the unique combination of developing commercial success from within a Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific interest. A comprehensive renovation project has resulted in high quality accommodation for events and overnight stays and this is attracting visitors from far and wide to Sheppey. The enthusiasm and commitment to the business is demonstrated by all the team but the overriding consideration is the protection of the environment in which the business operates.

Faversham Business of the Year

Saxon Shore Estate Agents

Saxon Shore is operating in a highly competitive and mature market place with some very strong and well established regional competing brands. However, they have proven that through strong leadership, a great team and dedication and commitment to all of their customers it is possible to not only compete with the status quo, but more impressively to surpass them. They have dared to be bold and do things differently and this has been key to their success. This achievement is all the more remarkable given the fact that the business is still in it's early years and it will be exciting to see the continued impact they will have on the local property market place. 

Swale Small Business of the Year

The Oast Osteopathy

Oast Osteopathy offers a range of health and welbeing treatments including Osteopathy, Sports Therapy, Acupuncture, Reflexology, Mindfulness, Yoga and Pilates. In a very competitive market, Oast Osteopathy continues to grow and attract more customers.  To accommodate this, Claire has recently taken on premises at the Oast Business Centre.  She differentiates Oast from the competition by offering the full package under one roof, from injury to rehab, and through her practitioners taking part in local events and attending local sports clubs and gyms to provide initial advice and support.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Giedre Brandao, AbBaltis

Giedre really impressed the judges with the continued progress being made by her and the team at AbBaltis Ltd. It was very evident that the time Giedre is spending working on the business rather than in the business, has been key in facilitating the pace of growth evident in recent years. Giedre is clearly a very talented scientist but she has also proven her ability as an entrepreneur and has successfully established AbBaltis as a global specialist within their field. These are exciting times for Giedre and the team as they look into further product development and continuing to expand their global customer base. 

In addition, Giedre is also working as a government export champion, which is building on AbBaltis's previous success in achieving a Queens Award for Enterprise for international trade. In this role, she is helping to support other UK exporters and potential exporters, which is a clearly an important and topical area within our overall UK economic performance moving forward. 

Employer of the Year

Tribeca Technology Group

Tribeca Technology really impressed the judges with the quality, structure and support provided to their employees. The senior management team are fully committed to providing market leading training and development opportunities to all of their staff and see this as an essential requirement in enabling them to recruit and retain the highest calibre of employees.  They showed an unswerving commitment to investing in their staff  at all levels of the organisation and continue to provide opportunities for development both in the UK and via their global operations centres.   

They continue to invest in an excellent apprenticeship programme which spans both their core IT services but also other areas such as HR and business administration.  The success of their apprenticeship and overall employee proposition was tangible, with numerous middle and senior management roles now being occupied by people whom have developed into these roles within their time at Tribeca Technology. 

Customer Service and Commitment

Kedoo Optical

Kedoo have in a very short timescale established themselves as a leading provider in the local optical marketplace. As a Boots franchise, they have taken a proven business model and added their own passion and unswerving commitment to surpassing the expectations of their local  customer base. This has resulted in them achieving continued recognition as the highest performing outlet nationally and has allowed the business to successfully develop year-on-year. Customer reviews and feedback is truly impressive and is a direct result of the fantastic team and their customer focussed culture.   

Impact in the Community

Queenborough Harbour CIC

This Community Interest Company has transformed a historic harbour by increasing mooring capacity and occupancy. This and the promotion of special events has increased visitor numbers significantly and benefited local businesses. Future plans include the provision of additional services and bringing more visitors from overseas to Sheppey.

Judges Special Award

Lorenden Prep School

The judge’s deliberations this year were made extremely difficult by the overall calibre and variety of entrants.

Lorenden Prep School was chosen for this year’s judges’ special award to celebrate a local business that is bucking the trend in their sector by increasing pupil numbers.  The School provides a delightful setting for its pupils, in a happy family atmosphere.  It is extremely proud to have been rated as ‘excellent’ by the independent schools inspectorate. 

The judges wanted to recognise the wonderful work that the staff at the School do in providing a first class education for young people in the area.