The sweet taste of award success
  • Saturday 10 July 2010

For many businesses, the start of a new financial year can be the motivation to review the business plan and look at new ways to increase profile and profits. Winning a Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Award may assist on both counts.

One person who has enjoyed the benefits of winning a Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Award is Louisa Raven, owner of boutique chocolate manufacturer, Cocoa Chocolat at Eumundi. Louisa said that since winning the Retail Small Business Award category in 2009 it had definitely made “a huge difference” to her company’s profile and bottom line.

“The exposure and prestige associated with winning the award in 2009 has definitely generated additional customers and awareness for us.

“When customers see the award framed on our shop wall it also instantly reinforces the quality of our product, standard of our service and our absolute commitment to excellence,” Louisa said.

As a first time entrant to the awards in 2009 Louisa said that she had never expected to win. The sweet surprise however had definitely encouraged her to continue to chase her business dreams.

“We had five employees this time last year, now we have 11. We have also introduced bus tours and school tours as part of the business.

“Winning the award has reinforced our belief that we know what we are doing, where we are going and that our business model is sound and successful,” she said.

Louisa encouraged all Sunshine Coast businesses to consider entering the 2010 Awards and was considering entering again this year. With entries closing on Friday July 30, time is running out.

Sunshine Coast businesses are encouraged to enter the awards (at no cost) by completing a nomination form, or being nominated by a third party, and then submitting the answers to nine – 12 questions that make up the final entry submission. There are 13 award categories to choose from and with the entry content limited to no more than six, A4 pages even the busiest of businesses should be able to find the time to enter.

The awards boast a range of quality, high profile sponsors including Sunshine Coast Council as a Platinum Sponsor and a host of others including Suncorp Bank, Sunshine Coast TAFE, University of the Sunshine Coast, Telstra Country Wide and more.

Sunshine Coast Council’s Chair of Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, Councillor Lew Brennan said that he believed that by entering the awards and attending the award presentation ceremony in November, businesses received the perfect, opportunity to celebrate their successes and to network with some of the biggest names in business on the Sunshine Coast.

“Regardless of the outcome the whole entry process is an excellent way of reviewing your business. It gives you a chance to analyse your strengths and weaknesses, makes sure you’re on track and provides the opportunity to promote your business to a broader network of customers and captains of industry,” Cr Brennan said.

Noosaville’s waste water treatment and water recycling company Clearmake also won the Building/Manufacturing Large Business Award in 2009.


  • Nominations for the 16th Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Awards close at 5pm on Friday 30 July.
  • Nomination forms and information is available at or by phoning 5443 5661.
  • Categories include: Building/Manufacturing, Business Services, Creative/Knowledge Industries, Environmental Industries, Export, Food and Beverage Production, Innovation, Lifestyle Services, Professional Services, Retail, Tourism, Outstanding Business Person of the Year and Outstanding Employee of the Year.
  • All entries require a nomination and the completion of nine business submission questions (plus an additional three questions for the Innovation and Export categories).
  • The judges will evaluate entrants by way of the written entry submission, demonstration of best management practices, an onsite interview, a ‘mystery shop/visit’, and referee attestations.
  • The final Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Awards ceremony will be held in November. It is the largest regional business award event to be held outside of a metropolitan city in Australia.