Food-based companies scooped the top awards at a celebration of the best of Bedfordshire’s businesses.
Biogen, in Milton Ernest, which turns food waste into energy and fertiliser was awarded the top Barclays Choice accolade at the Bedfordshire and Luton Rising Stars Awards held at Bedford Corn Exchange.
And Bedfordshire’s ‘cereal’ entrepreneur Bill Jordan picked up a lifetime achievement award for his services to the county over the years.
Mr Jordan’s family has run a farming and milling business at Holme Mills, Biggleswade, since the 18th century.
Although trained as a flour miller, Mr Jordan had also been a rock drummer with French band ‘Le Regal’ before travelling to America and hitch-hiking to California.
It was there, in 1969, that Bill, the fifth generation in the family business, came face-to-face with the wholefoods movement that was sweeping the health-conscious West Coast of America. And it was there where granola breakfast cereal in particular appealed.
He brought back granola to his brother David and they set about on a mission to convert Britain to wholegrain.
By 1972, Jordans’ Crunchy G granola was born and the recipe continues to this day – as Crunchy Oats Granola.
Jim Stewart, editor of the Beds Times & Citizen, said: “Tonight has been a celebration of Bedfordshire’s finest in the business world and in the community. It amazes me to see so much success and contribution in our community. Every year we hear about new businesses, expanding business, new innovation and customer excellence and I am very proud to be part of it and also to have the opportunity to report on it.”
Other winners were:
New Business Award, sponsored by Keens Shay Keens: Fairies ‘N’ Frogs, in Church Street, Ampthill. Highly commended: Crannull Consulting, in High Town Road, Luton.
Enterprising Business Award, sponsored by Keens Shay Keens: The Play Doctors Ltd, in Bourne End, Cranfield. Highly commended: Luton Bury-Park Business Community.
Training & Development Award, sponsored by The University of Bedfordshire: Toybox day nursery, Kingsfield Road, Biggleswade. Highly Commended: Hayward Tyler, Luton.
Customer Service Award, sponsored by Bedford Bid: Wyboston Lakes, in Great North Road, Wyboston. Highly commended: Ark House Vets, Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard.
Unsung Employee Award, sponsored by Nisa Local: Gina Bubbins, of Bedford College. Highly commended: Sophie Stock of The Embankment, Bedford.
Community Investment Award sponsored by Barclays: Bedfordshire Business Women. Highly Commended: Lionheart Security Company, in Leagrave Road, Luton.
Business of the Year Fewer Than 50 Employees, sponsored by Mayfair Online Insurance: Harmony Internet, Station Road, Biggleswade. Highly Commended: Bedford College Services.
Business of the Year More Than 50 Employees, sponsored by SA Law: Biogen (UK) Ltd, Milton Ernest. Highly Commended: Hayward Tyler Limited, Luton.