Business Network Awards 2024…and Winner Is

The City of Whittlesea’s thriving business community joined together for a night of celebration at the second annual Business Awards, held at the Mantra in Epping on Thursday 23 May 2024.

The Awards recognise businesses in the municipality who are demonstrating excellence in customer service, innovation, sustainability, community, diversity or as a home-based business.

City of Whittlesea Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said the awards were an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of businesses large and small.

“The awards enable us to shine a spotlight on our thriving local business community and to celebrate the many talented business people in the City of Whittlesea.”

The awards were open to members of the City of Whittlesea Business Network who could self-nominate in any of the six categories.

“We were thrilled to receive 74 nominations which is a testament to just how many wonderful businesses we have here in the City of Whittlesea,” Lydia said.

“Every business should be commended for their efforts, commitment and successes, particularly in this tough economic climate.”

Awards were presented to the following businesses:

Customer Service – Mantra Melbourne Epping

Mantra Melbourne Epping prioritises meaningful interactions with all customers, ensuring that their needs and preferences are understood and addressed throughout their entire experience, from the initial booking stage to their departure. Boasting an average of 4.4 out of 5 rating across feedback platforms, The Mantra Melbourne Epping team strives to create memorable moments and exceed all guest expectations.

Innovation and Enterprise – Distinctive Features Cosmetic Tattoo and Beauty

Distinctive Features Tattoo and Beauty specialises in correcting failed cosmetic tattoos, restoring clients’ confidence and quality of life. They offer post-cancer treatments like scar camouflage and nipple tattoos, supporting both women recovering from breast cancer and the trans community. Director Georgie Westley leads the way in paramedical services and accessible medical products, alongside comprehensive education initiatives and charitable contributions, all from her salon in Bundoora.

Sustainability and Environment – Nugal Biik Nursery – a partnership between Whittlesea Community Connections and Hanson Landfill Services

Whittlesea Community Connection’s Nugal Biik plants and seeds social enterprise partnered with Hanson Landfill Services Wollert Resource Park to combine their expertise to develop long-term, large-scale, circular sustainability initiatives in the City of Whittlesea.

Not only will the partnership see the planting of over 30,000 trees, but the partnership has also enabled the further development of the social enterprise Nugal Biik plants and seeds, providing social, economic, and environmental outcomes.

Community Contribution – Big Group Hug

Based in Thomastown, Big Group Hug is dedicated to ensuring that babies and children have the essential items they need to thrive. In 2023 the Big Group Hug received 844 requests to help 1,494 babies and children living in the City of Whittlesea – this equates to providing critical aid to 29 children a week, or 4 per day.

Forty five percent of staff and 20 percent of volunteers live in the City of Whittlesea providing opportunities for social interaction and vital human connections all while rehoming and recycling goods.

Workplace Diversity – Edlyn Foods Pty Ltd

From humble beginnings in the 1920’s as a cordial and fruit peel manufacturer in inner city Melbourne, Edlyn Foods has grown to be a nationally recognised key supplier to the foodservice Industry.

Edlyn has built a reputation for quality, innovative products, and excellence in customer service, through a process of continuous improvement. With headquarters based in Epping, Edlyn Foods is a 100% Australian-owned and operated company that continues to proudly support manufacturing in Australia.

Edlyn actively seeks out partnerships with local organisations that support diversity and inclusion initiatives and works to ensure that their workforce represents the diversity of the community they serve.

Home-Based Business – A Grade Resumes

With more than 18 years’ experience, A Grade Resumes offers a professional writing service in all job types and industries and for clients of all ages and ethnicities.

Drawing on her journalism background Belinda brings an innovative way to connect job seekers with their next role. Embedding sustainable practices to minimise her carbon footprint Belinda promotes practices that enable her to successfully operate from her home office in the township of Whittlesea.

Business of the Year – Mantra Melbourne Epping

Mantra Melbourne Epping, which opened in 2019, offers a collection of hotel rooms and serviced apartments.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mantra Melbourne Epping supported the local community by serving as a quarantine hotel. The Mantra team has worked tirelessly to re-establish its position as a leader in the accommodation sector.

The hotel has received several industry-leading awards, including the Accor 2023 Best Guest Experience and the Highly Commended Midscale Hotel at the HM Awards. These accolades are a testament to their unwavering dedication to providing unparalleled customer service and guest satisfaction.

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