Excitement is building for Ballarat business’s night of nights. Tune in to see who walks away with the top gong at Thursday night’s Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards.
You can truly trace Sinclair Meats' products from paddock to plate.
The local provedore, which recently opened the cafe The Gypsy's Lunchbox, already has a strong record in the Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards, having taken out the Regional Development – Grampians Paddock to Plate award last year.
Their new venture on Howitt Street ensures Sinclair Meats runs the gamut of paddock to plate, human resource manager Matthew Fontana said.
“Our business offers customers the opportunity to purchase locally grown product and to enjoy a true paddock to plate experience,” Mr Fontana said.
“We have a true passion for what we do from farming to processing.
“This passion is what drives us to continually better ourselves week after week, year after year.”
Sinclair Meats wants its customers to know they’re passionate about red meat.
“We want people to know just how passionate we are about the red meat game,” Mr Fontana said.
Down the road in Delacombe Salt Kitchen Charcuterie pairs centuries-old artisanal skills with a Western Victorian.
Director Michael Nunn worked in the United Kingdom for three years and spent time in Gascony and The Basque country learning from masters of charcuterie.
“We’ve gone far and wide to research and in turn create our products,” Mr Nunn said.
“It was important that we had first hand knowledge of where charcuterie originated.”
Salt Kitchen Charcuterie works with some of the state’s best producers and food businesses and their products can be found in delis, small supermarkets and on menus across Victoria.
“We use whole pigs from Western Plains Pork in Mount Mercer that have been grown free range to a specific size to make our products.
“We also use beef from Sher Wagyu in Ballan to make our award winning pastrami.”
Fellow finalist Mitchell Harris Wines offers black tie service with a blue jeans attitude.
The award winning, family-run winemaker blends hospitality with wine education and appreciation, and has recently begun hosting monthly “wine events”.
Their cellar door and wine bar in the heart of Ballarat is the perfect location for coffee, lunch or an after work drink.
“Our aim is to create a great place where we can share the great food and wine of the producers in our region - a relaxed, wine-infused environment that isn't stuffy or overwhelming,” co-owner John Harris said.
“We have amazing staff who are passionate about what we offer and translate that into a great customer experience, giving black-tie service with a relaxed blue-jeans attitude.”
The Ballarat winemaker has plans to extend its reach and begin exporting their wines as well as their expertise in hospitality.
Hotondo Homes prides itself on custom builds and flexible designs.
The former National Builder of the Year has experienced strong sales across the board, a steady growth which has allowed Hotondo Homes to increase its support of local charities and organisations.
“We are an organisation that caters to our customers needs and we provide superior homes,” owner Amira Willingham said.
“We share the journey with our customers and support them through the building experience whether it be their first home, second or consecutive home or an investment home.”
Hotondo Homes is owned by two local families and delivers diverse designs to suit all styles, budgets and blocks.
“The key to our success is our staff feeling that their role has purpose and meaning and that they are a valued member of the team,” Ms Willingham said.
“This flows on to our customers through the dedication and commitment of our staff to make our business successful.”
Fellow Central Highlands Water Trade Business Award finalist Complete Style Joinery offer professional, high quality joinery for commercial and domestic markets.
The business was started eight years ago by Julian and Prue Allan in response to high demand in regional Victoria for tailor-made joinery.
Complete Style Joinery uses the latest manufacturing and design based machinery and is now able to produce even more detailed drawings thanks to the purchase of the CNC machine.
“We are a locally owned, family business and our Management and Staff will ensure your joinery is designed, constructed and installed to your needs with 100 per cent satisfaction,” owner Julian Allan said.
“Our success is in fulfilling our vision by providing excellent customer service and ensuring the customer’s needs and expectations are met and exceeded throughout all aspects of the joinery process.
Complete Style Joinery, located at Canadian, is a first time Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards finalist.
“It was an honour to be nominated in the first place so to become a finalist is a very humbling experience,” Mr Allan said.
Renovative is an established builder specialising in architecturally designed mid to high end customised renovations and extensions across regional Victoria.
Renovative understands how to use the fundamentals of project and construction management within the triple constraints of time, costs and quality to achieve optimal outcomes.
Renovative promotes a culture of work life balance and commitment to a family-oriented workforce.
Staff are valued and provided with continuous professional development opportunities that ensure they remain leaders in the renovation business.
Services include project feasibility analysis, strategic planning and project staging and project delivery, reporting and co-ordination.
Every issue of Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine is a carefully curated collector’s edition.
The quarterly boutique publication has been revamped by its new owner, Lucy Coxall, as a beacon for the Central Highlands community.
With a readership of over 12,000, Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine aims to inspire pride community pride in the region.
Printed on gorgeous matte stock and with a chic minimalist design, Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine shows the best the Central Highlands has to offer in the most beautiful way possible.
“We focus on outstanding content and beautiful photography to best represent Ballarat,” owner and editor Ms Coxall said.
“We endeavour to not just be a print publication but a positive pillar in the community with a focus on community engagement and not-for-profits.
“Building on our greatest strength – community spirit – the magazine is gaining momentum with each new issue.”
Also in the running in the Power FM Small Business Awards is Munash Natural Fertilisers.
The team are passionate, down to earth and full of heart, Munash Garden Division manager Garry Holding said.
Honed over 30 years, Munash’s certified organic fertiliser contributes directly to the environment by removing toxins from the soil and putting back the mineral nutrients nature intended.
Their message? Wake up and smell the soil.
“Take a moment to think about the food you eat, the water you drink, the air you breathe and the health of you and your family,” he said.
“It all begins with healthy soil.
“Munash is all about living your life well, getting back to grass roots and working with nature.”
Munash Natural Fertilisers is now available in every Australian state and territory and has its sights on broader horizons.
“Our success and vision for our business relies on the ethos of supporting and working with like minded people, businesses, retailers, growers, producers and suppliers to spread the word on sustainable practices.”
After just three years in the business On Tap Liquor Consulting is already well on its way to becoming Victoria’s top liquor consultancy firm.
Based out of Ballan, On Tap Liquor Consulting offers its services statewide, delivering an innovative approach to compliance that eases the burden on licensees.
“The most important thing to know about On Tap Liquor Consulting is that compliance is our passion, so it doesn’t need to be anyone else’s,” principal consultant James Robson said.
“We pride ourselves on the innovative and professional approach we take to our service range.”
On Tap Liquor Consulting is the only regionally based liquor licensing specialist in the state, and the only licensing specialist offering a range of online services designed to simplify compliance for its customers.
The company has recently launched a compliance management subscription service which offers an outsourced solution for venues’ liquor licence compliance.
“Our future vision is to continue our growth towards being Victoria’s premier liquor consultancy firm, and continuing to offer a second to none service from start to finish,” Mr Robson said.
Friends of Hospice Op Shop’s nomination for The Win Network Customer Service Award is testament to the dedication of its volunteers.
The Little Bridge Street op shop offers a boutique style shopping experience which it hopes to expand to other regional areas.
After just 18 months on Little Bridge Street Friends of Hospice Op Shop has opened a second shopfront on Sturt Street, with all proceeds donated to Ballarat Hospice Care Inc. Home Based Palliative Care.
“Our strength is our customer service delivered by experience volunteers who are recruited based on their skills, values and friendly nature,” retail operations manager Gen Ware said.
“The Friends of Hospice Op Shop’s success is due to the hard work of our volunteers, consistent support from the Ballarat community and our commitment to driving a culture of respect for each other and our customers in line with core values of loyalty, honesty, trust, skilled, kindness, respect and willingness.”
Adroit Insurance is known for its exceptional customer service.
The insurance brokers now offer a suite of online services including a customer self-service portal, paperless invoices and an online payment gateway.
“We recognised our customers want everything at their fingers tips and have adopted a number of new initiatives to deliver the best experience we can,” branch manager Damon Edwards said.
Adroit Insurance specialises in providing full spectrum general insurance, financial services and workers compensation expertise and risk management advice.
“Insurance is a promise and we ensure we constantly offer excellent service.
“Our people are our greatest asset and we work hard to ingrain a culture that ensures our customer is at the heart of what we do.”
PFD Food Services has served Ballarat for 32 years – delivering their extensive range to schools, pubs, and even prisons.
Formerly Central Highlands Food Service, PFD Food Services offers in-person customer service so customers can get what they need – from seafood to dry goods – without leaving their kitchen.
”Our sales representatives visit customers in their kitchens to take their orders in person,” branch manager Nick Thurlbeck said.
“This allows engagement and the ability to assist the customer to make an informed decision on the products they are ordering, and eventually selling, on their menu to diners.”
The food wholesaler has taken a side step out of its comfort zone of late, diversifying into craft beer distribution.
“We are about to launch ‘Rogue Wave’ branded beer products, brewed in Aireys Inlet Victoria,” he said.
“This is a big leap outside our traditional food service offering to customers.
“Our vision for the future is to continue growing and diversifying our product range to suit the local tastes and trends of the Ballarat.”
Over 1200 man hours have gone into Ballarat Beer Festival since the state’s premier regional beer event was rebranded last year.
The finalist in Federation Business School E-Commerce and Online Awards injects over $1.1 million into the local economy, $15,000 of which is donated to Ballarat charities.
“The major thrust has been to invest in technology at the festival to provide efficiency to the logistical requirements as well as increasing sales via a rebranded website, campaign management software and on-line sales,” festival director Ric Dexter, who bought the festival last year, said.
“Achieving a finalist's award is a great recognition of the 1200 man hours spent in investing in the new technology driving the business forward.”
The Ballarat Beer Festival is a family friendly event where craft beer lovers can sample over 150 of Australia's finest craftbeers, ciders and wines.
The festival includes beer education classes in which discussions and a line up of live music.
“The key to success is having a great team behind me in the event planning and digital marketing, plus hard work, commitment, perseverance, more hard work, long hours and even more hard work,” Mr Dexter said.
Ballarat’s first auction to be live streamed garnered realtors Ray White Ballarat an audience of 6,500.
Ray White Ballarat will follow the success of their Facebook video with a largest in room auction ever held in Ballarat.
“We use cutting edge technology and marketing strategies to attract a wider range of buyers and tenants nationally and internationally,” director Philip Lee said.
“Not only do we have the latest technology, marketing options and years of local knowledge, but we are also part of Australia's biggest real estate group, the Ray White Group with over 1,000 offices in 11 countries.”
Mr Lee attributed their success to being open to change and willing to try new ideas and technologies.
Their willingness to adapt and embrace the digital marketplace keeps the business and their clients ahead of the competition.
Ray White Ballarat offers residential, commercial, industrial and rural property sales and management.
Loreto College is a finalist in Federation Business School E-Commerce and Online Awards for the third year running, having claimed the top gong for their online innovation in 2014.
The college enters the race armed with a brand new website which features 360 degree school tours, weekly news, digital links to all publications and a growing platform of alumni “voices”.
“We have a significant and valuable history, however Loreto College is now a 21st Century education provider,” acting principal Elizabeth Till said.
“In this day and age we are in the business of education and education is big business.”
“Loreto College embraces the fact that we are in the business of education and are proud to adopt and promote sound business practices that support and enhance our core business of education.
“The vision and values of Loreto College are as relevant today as what they were when the College was first established in 1875.
“Educating and empowering young women for their future through a Catholic education remains our core business.”
Boasting the largest craft beer range in regional Victoria, Hop Temple is a sanctuary for the senses.
The venue, which celebrates its first birthday next month, has entered a pact to never become complacent.
Hop Temple has a new menu in the works and has just put a roof over their beer garden.
“We continually provide Ballarat with different events that seek to please all the senses,” manager Zachary Hill said.
“We made a pact before opening to never become complacent, always confer with our customers and ensure we continually strive to be at the forefront of our industry; regularly bringing new experiences to our customers.”
Hop Temple owners and staff have vowed to continue the fun of their first year in business.
”Our vision is to continue the fun,” Mr Hill said.
“We'll continue to collaborate with other local innovators, continue to bring Ballarat the newest craft beers available and we have some huge things happening we can't yet talk about so stay tuned for that.”
Grill’d Ballarat’s mission is to make burgers that are good for the body, good for the soul, and that give back to the community.
The franchise opened its doors in Ballarat two years ago and sources only the highest quality ingredients, all from local suppliers.
“We use 100 per cent grass fed lean beef and lamb and our beef, chicken and lamb are free from all added hormones and antibiotics,” co-owner Marietta Thompson said.
“Our burgers, salads and steak sandwiches are made to order, as are our thick cut chips, sprinkled with our signature Grill’d herb mix.”
The Grill’d customer experience is multi-layered and begins with great ingredients, Ms Thompson said.
“We very much believe that our customers’ experience is what sets us apart from the rest.
“Our customer experience consist of three parts: an amazing healthy burger made from premium and wholesome ingredients, brilliant service from fun and friendly staff, and great restaurant ambience.”
Winemakers Mitchell Harris are ambassadors for the food and wine of the region.
The family-run business expanded from wine making in 2013 with the opening of their cellar door and wine bar in the heart of Ballarat.
The key to their success is continual innovation – in food, wine and events, all infused with a passion for wine and local produce.
”With new chefs on staff, we also now offer unique food and wine dinners,” co-owner John Harris said.
“Renovating our bluestone cellar and barrel shed and installing a brand new commercial kitchen has broadened our potential offerings for functions and events.”
Mitchell Harris has been a finalist in Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards since opening its cellar door in 2013.
“We’re very excited about the award as a reflection of all the hard work our team has put into making our wine bar such a unique venue for people to visit,” Mr Harris said.
“We'd love to see Mitchell Harris continue to be ambassadors for the great food and wine of Ballarat and Western Victoria and improve our education and training to become a benchmark for hospitality and service in our region.”
Eureka Concrete is a local family business that keeps its business local too.
The 45-year-old business is the only family-run supplier of ready mix concrete in the Ballarat region.
“We are 100 per cent local and all money stays local,” general manager Troy Beaston said.
“Eureka Concrete spend with local businesses as much as possible – we use local bankers, buy cars locally and use local advertising companies.
“We also support sporting organisations and other community beneficiaries.”
Eureka Concrete began in 1972 with just two trucks.
“With just two trucks at the company’s inception, we now boast five production sites, 50 staff and 37 trucks, enabling us the ability to provide a large range of quality concrete products, to far reaching areas of the region,” Mr Beaston said.
“With prime objectives in quality and customer service, combined with fully computerised office management systems, we are committed to quality and service excellence, now and into the future.”
Where other businesses put your waste in the too-hard basket, PaperFreight Recycling will find a way.
The family-owned business are experts in resource recovery, servicing Ballarat and surrounding areas.
PaperFreight Recycling believes that all recyclables should be kept out of landfill.
Their free service has made effective recycling available to everyone.
“The key to our success is that where businesses say ‘no’ we say ‘yes’,” manager Josh Benfield said.
“If they don’t want to or can’t recycle a particular material, we will make sure we can find a way to.”
Paperfreight Recycling service all waste and recycling needs and also offer document destruction.
“We want people to know that our recycling services are free, we do not want to see any cardboard, paper or plastics go into landfill,” Mr Benfield said.
“Our vision is to grow, we want to be able to service every Ballarat business and make sure they are satisfied with our service.”
Sinclair Meats has been in business since 1990 and has grown to employ 80 staff.
The business, which is also a finalist in Regional Development Australia – Grampians Paddock to Plate Award, won the Paddock to Plate and Central Highlands Water Trade Business Award last year.
“Our vision is to continue the growth of our farming operation and retail operations with further development of our brand and markets,” human resource manager Matthew Fontana said.
“Our business stands out from the rest because we really do grow our own product locally and maintain traceability from paddock to plate.”
Sinclair Meats has recently expanded its offering to include a cafe, The Gypsy’s Lunchbox on Howitt Street, to offer the full paddock to plate experience.
“We want people to know just how passionate we are about the red meat game, when they see Waubra Prime they’ll know it’s from Sinclair Meats and they’ll know it’s a quality product.”
Tinworth Business Solutions opened its doors in 2005 as a two-man army.
The accounting and self managed superannuation specialists have since grown to a team of 10 with offices in Geelong and on the Sunshine Coast.
Tinworth Business Solutions offers compliance, account and taxation and management consulting services.
“We are a happy, easy going team of ten who are willing to work with our clients to bring them a customised service in a timely fashion and presented in a manner that is easily understood,” director Tracey Hunter said.
“We pride ourselves on working alongside our clients, arming them with the tools they need to take control of their financial future, stepping beyond compliance and into proactive service.
“For our clients, the goal is to have a business that works for them, not a business that they work for.”
Tinworth Business Solutions is also committed to nurturing the skills and knowledge of its growing staff.
“Our mission here at Tinworth is to grow our team and provide them with the skills and training required to provide the levels of service that our clients expect,” Ms Hunter said.
“This will see us deliver the highest level accountancy and business services.”
PRDnationwide Ballarat aren’t afraid of change or challenge.
The realtor employs 40 staff in the local community, providing real estate sales and leasing services for residential, rural and commercial properties.
“We are constantly looking for new and better ways to improve the way we operate overall. And we are not scared to give new systems or technologies a go,” owner Brenden Barclay said.
“At this very moment we are undergoing some significant changes all revolving around delivering improved faster services to our customers.”
”Our office is undergoing a complete renovation designed to take it to the next level, it will offer improved technology, meeting rooms, project development spaces so that we can value add and provide more services to our customers.”
Oak Tree Ballarat Dental provides good old fashioned customer service and cutting edge healthcare.
The surgery, which celebrated its third birthday last month, has invested heavily in new technology including 3D technology deliver better and more efficient treatment.
“We provide excellence, honesty and artistry in dental services including wisdom tooth extraction, orthodontic treatment, dental implants, endodontic treatment, crown and bridge work, veneers and treatment under general anaesthetic,” dental surgeon and partner Dr. Jessica Lim said.
“We are passionate about providing outstanding yet affordable dentistry, in terms of both quality of treatment and customer service.”
Oakt Tree Ballarat Dental is also a finalist in the Nova Pharmacy Health and Wellbeing Award.
Child and Family Services Ballarat helps 6000 individuals and families across the Central Highlands each year.
The social welfare provider has been locally managed and governed in Ballarat for over 150 years and has evolved to meet the new challenges of a growing, modern society.
Over a century and a half the organisation evolved from Ballarat Orphanage to Ballarat Children’s Home to the wide ranging services it offers today.
“CAFS is not a government organisation, but a locally managed and governed, substantial and vital component of the social welfare infrastructure of Ballarat, serving the community in various forms since 1865,” CEO Allan Joy said.
“Although our programs and services have changed and expanded significantly since these early days, we are just as committed and passionate to helping children and families in need.”
Services include out of home care for children and young people; in-home family support; early childhood parenting services; family violence prevention and men’s behaviour change services; support for families post-separation; homelessness assistance; gamblers’ help and financial counselling and family services.
Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre is a place where people and innovation aren’t pushed out by policy and regulation.
The centre is a supportive place for people looking to return to work or learning, or just wanting to get in touch with their community.
BNC works to deliver a responsive personal service to whatever need is identified in the community.
“The employment and learning landscape can be confusing and overwhelming,” executive manager Michelle Whyte said.
“We set out to be an open and accepting environment where people feel included and welcome, where they can receive free and unbiased advice and assistance on what to do next.
“Our vision is to remain that sort of place – place where innovation and people are not pushed out because of policy and regulation.”
BNC recently launched Let’s Get Ballarat working – an initiative aimed at preparing people for the workplace through workshops with key industry employers.
St John of God Ballarat Hospital embraces the values of hospitality, respect, compassion, justice and excellence.
The hospital’s 750 caregivers strive to demonstrate these core values in their care for patients to ensure a patient’s stay in hospital is pleasant, safe and comfortable.
The hospital continues to upgrade and expand its facilities, and was last year ranked in the 97th percentile by inpatient surveys.
Also in 2015, St John of God was the first hospital in Victoria to introduce 3D theatre technology.
“We are very proud of this achievement, as it is no easy task to provide such a high standard of care consistently across an organisation,” chief executive officer Michael Krieg said.
“This is a reflection of the commitment and dedication of our caregivers and doctors in providing excellent care to patients.”
St John of God Ballarat Hospital offers a comprehensive range of private hospital surgical, medical and maternity services including emergency department and outpatient care for rehabilitation and mental health.
A modern cafe experience has taken root and flourished in historic Webster Street.
Webster’s Market and Cafe has been a fixture on the culinary scene for less than a year but has already accrued a loyal following.
The renovated corner store has a modern look with contemporary food to match and a north facing outdoor dinning area that can be enjoyed all year round.
“We are still very new to business but believe our success so far has come from the hard work and respect our loyal staff have to help meet our goals, along with our prior years of industry knowledge and the pride we take in delivering a quality product,” co-owner Jane Meneses Lopez said.
“We want to continue to bring a quality cafe dinning experience to our customers.”
Webster’s Market and Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, house made cakes and also sells local gourmet produce.
ADVANCED Nutrition is growing rapidly from infancy to adolescence.
Dietitian Whitney Atkinson launched ADVANCED Nutrition last year.
ADVANCED Nutrition provides personalised, evidence-based nutrition advice to reduce their risk of chronic disease development or progression and also works with Sports Central to present sports nutrition and hydration workshops to Ballarat’s aspiring young athletes.
“Food is the fuel for our bodies,” Ms Atkinson said.
“Dietitians apply the art and science of human nutrition to help people understand the relationship between diet and disease.”
Ms Atkinson understands the temptation of less than healthy foods.
“My father worked at a prominent confectionery company for my entire childhood and adolescence, so I understand the temptation of “sometimes” foods and like to help individuals with tailored, realistic and practical advice.”
Le Chic Skin and Beauty has continued to evolve since they were first a finalist in The Courier New and Emerging Business Award two years ago.
Since 2013 the business has expanded to include a doctor and registered nurse, providing skin consultations and cosmetic anti-wrinkle injectables and dermal fillers.
Le Chic Skin and Beauty’s services include DNA skin analysis, LED light therapy, IPL hair removal, sugaring hair removal, massage, manicures and pedicures.
“Our business stands out above the rest due to our unique and results driven list of services,” owner Amanda Aleem said.
“We are experts in our field with continued education and a strong focus on excellent customer service and a great experience every visit.”
Ms Saleem is also a finalist for the Australian Beauty Industry Awards Beauty Therapist of the Year and Le Chic Skin and Beauty is a finalist for the Best Customer Care Awards.
Metal presser and fabricator Ceramet has got ahead of the curve and is reaping the benefits of diversification.
As auto suppliers hit hard times across the state, Ceramet has evolved to provide a wrap around service which includes tool design and manufacture and commercial solar research and the purchase of research facilities around the state.
“Unlike many other manufactures in our field, Ceramet offer a comprehensive service from product design support, prototype development, tool design and tool manufacture,” technical and commercial manager Stephen Casey said.
“Our commitment to innovation has seen many recent continuous improvement projects and diversification in our business.
“These include current commissioning of a custom made robotic pack cell for high volume product and investment in commercial solar power generation through the purchase of research facilities in Bridgewater and Mildura.”
Mr Casey said domestic manufacturing still had a bright future.
“That manufacturing still has a vital place in Australia and through innovation, diversification and a can-do attitude we can continue to be successful.”
In 12 months Health-e Workforce Solutions’ human resource management software and consultancy has reduced costs to their clients by between 5 and 15 per cent.
Health-e Workforce Solutions’ suite of targeted software applications facilitate the analysis and management of hospital workforces.
In a year the business profiled over 100,000 healthcare staff over 10,000 departments, providing over $10 billion in budgets to hospitals.
“The Health-e Workforce Solutions software is a knowledge-based system that provides the right information, at the right time, to make the right decision, and is a solution for improving workforce knowledge and strategic human resource planning,” founder and director Danny Rathgeber said.
”One of the greatest challenges to a healthcare service in achieving its mission is the effective management of the professional workforce.
“Failure to meet the challenge has impacts on financial performance, quality of service delivery and the overall reputation of the healthcare service.”
The ultimate value of a property investment depends on effective management – which is where MBCM Strata Specialists Ballarat comes in.
MBCM Strata Specialists are leaders in their industry, partnering with developers and owners to set up and manage residential, commercial and industrial owners corporations.
“We grow through our passionate belief in the provision of innovative, superior service and creatively delivering community education about owners corporations, ensuring that owners and investors understand that the ultimate value of their investment depends to a large degree on effective management,” owner Greg Honeyman said.
MBCM is recognised as the leader of the strata management industry in Ballarat and the Central
Highlands, Mr Honeyman said.
“People can copy what we do but they will never copy who we are,” he said.
“We are outrageously creative and innovative in everything we do and keep our foot jammed down on the accelerator pedal.”
Over two years Grill’d Ballarat has donated to 70 community groups and causes through the Local Matters donation program.
Franchise owners and local residents Aaron Bones and Marietta Thompson opened up shop in 2014 and in that time have made their business an integral part of the Ballarat community.
“Each month our restaurant donates $500 to our local community through the Local Matters community donation program,” Ms Thompson said.
“Our vision is to be the most fun, loved and respected brand in the Ballarat community. We will do this by being a visible, active and integrated contributor to community initiatives within the Ballarat region.”
Grill’d has picked up two Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards each year since opening – The Courier New and Emerging Business Award and City of Ballarat Restaurant Pubs and Cafe Award.
“Grill’d Ballarat offers the tastiest healthy burgers, using only premium ingredients of the highest quality,” Ms Thompson said.
“We’re committed to providing our guests with the tastiest healthy burgers going around, ensuring that we source only the highest quality and premium ingredients from local suppliers.”
Aussie Home Loans Ballarat is an ever expanding franchise having just added another broker and with another due in October.
The finalist in the Commerce Ballarat Franchise Award has just hit the two year mark in Ballarat and attributes their success to compassion and understanding when pairing customers with home loans.
“I want people to know that we are a business that is in business for its customers,” owner Naomi Cove said.
“We will go above and beyond to do what we can for you to achieve your financial goals of home ownership and we are also a business that is giving back to the community through sponsorship and community events.”
Ms Cove said she hoped to see the business continue going from strength to strength.
“My vision for the future is to help more and more people with their financial goals of home ownership, building that dream home, setting up their future with investments, or going on that long awaited holiday.”
Aussie Home Loans offers home loans, general insurance and mortgage protection insurance.
The Athlete’s Foot Ballarat has served the city’s feet for a quarter of a century.
The shoe store is a two-time finalist in Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards, making the finals in 2012 and again in 2014.
The business has a proud record of serving the community – from the ground up.
“We have been in Ballarat for 25 years and provide a unique fitting process to ensure every customer leaves our store with the right fit and are completely satisfied. We absolutely love being apart of the community and sponsoring local events like Park Run, Little Athletics and Run Ballarat just to name a few,” store manager Shay Hare said.
Recently the franchise started a free run club for the community on a Tuesday night.
“Our run club is all about having a go, forming new friendships and promoting a healthy lifestyle for Ballarat locals while running in a safe environment.
Attention to all the gory detail of Ballarat’s rich history has made Eerie Tours one of Australia’s most popular dark tourism experiences.
The finalist in Ballarat Regional Tourism’s special events and attractions category hosts tours at Ballarat Old Cemetery and Aradale Lunatic Asylum and ghost tours of Australia’s “most haunted city”.
Eerie Tours recently completed maintenance on the asylum, securing the historic site for haunted tours for years to come and now runs six hour ultimate tours of the facility.
“Its combination of magnificent locations, spooky guides and attention to gory historic details help Eerie Tours set the standard for dark tourism in the country,” director Nathaniel Buchanan said.
Eerie Tours hopes to work with the state government to turn the goldfields into one of the premier dark tourism locations in the country.
The eight-year-old tour company was also a Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Award finalist in 2010.
Fellow finalist Ballarat Gardens in Spring will celebrate nine years as a key event in the city’s calendar when it opens four private gardens to the public in November.
Ballarat properties to be showcased include the iconic Bishop’s Palace on Sturt Street and “Elsinore”, the Hotham Street property, once owned by famous war hero Pompey Elliott.
A recent finalist in the City of Ballarat Heritage Awards, also on Sturt Street, will reveal a more modern restoration of a 1920s home and garden.
Ballarat Gardens in Spring’s Helen Todd said all three property owners were passionate about maintaining the heritage of their homes and gardens.
“These heritage gardens will be sure to give gardeners ideas for their own gardens as well as inspire them by seeing beautiful mature trees at their peak,” she said.
The not-for-profit aims to showcase and promote horticulture and gardening and raises funds for the Botanical Gardens.
Royal South Street Society has served Ballarat – and tens of thousands of performers from around the country – for 125 years.
Australia’s longest running eisteddfod has five dedicated staff and a volunteer army of 270, and attracts over 10,000 performers a year.
In its 125th year the Society has introduced a new category, Mi Sound, for students of VCE-VET Music Industry Skills programs.
“We respect our heritage whilst adapting to the needs of today’s society,” chairman Peter Zala said.
“People often believe RSSS is just dance and calisthenics when it is far more.
“In fact we run 13 separate disciplines including debating, speech and drama, vocal sections, instrumental and the heats and semi’s of the famous Herald Sun Aria.”
The RSS vision is to continue offering a unique performing arts experience and an opportunity to boost the confidence of their many competitors.
Sweet Fern is the only niche perfumery in regional Australia and one of only seven Aesop stockists in the world to house the boutique brand’s full range.
The space and concept is the passion project of husband and wife team Simon and Kate Robinson.
The Robinsons believe inspired spaces are integral to sweet experiences and have fitted out the store with almost entirely reclaimed materials.
The perfumery stocks scents from the most luxurious perfume houses in the world and has recently begun offering perfume masterclasses for bridal showers, birthdays, private and corporate groups and launched a corporate gifting program and intimate shopping events.
“Sweet Fern celebrates the artisanal, the unique and the whimsical,” Mrs Robinson said.
“The vision for our business is for Sweet Fern to become a trusted household name in Ballarat and beyond and to continue to get better at what we do and to always innovate and create new and exciting ways of doing things and connecting with our customers.”
Ballarat’s The Crafty Squirrel is a unique retail experience with the aim of promoting craft of all disciplines.
The shop is also the working studio of Morgan Wills, designer and maker of limited edition and one of a kind textile based gifts, kits and homeware products.
Ever looking forward and further afield, The Crafty Squirrel is about to start running craft tours of Tokyo, Japan.
“I am a creative designer who explores my vision through design and manufacture of product – predominately using sustainable repurposed and upcycled materials and that I love to collaborate with others who have a different skill set to me but similar vision,” Ms Wills said.
“I also love sourcing unique treasures from around the world and am dedicated to old fashioned service with a smile.”
A Crafty Squirrel Book is currently in the pipeline.
“For me, it has been about working out what it is that makes me tick – crafting, designing and making and then working out how I could manifest that passion into my everyday work and subsequent business model,” Ms Wills said.
Boost Juice Ballarat gives off an in-store vibe that’s unmistakable.
The juice bar has recently launched a Boost Mobeel – a mobile juice bar soon to be out and about at local events.
We also strongly encourage and embrace a ‘Love Life’ attitude,” owner Sam Haans said.
“We want every customer to be 100% happy with their drink, so we offer a two-sip guarantee – if you don’t love it, we’ll replace it free of charge.
“Whenever you enter a Boost Juice Bar you know you are going to get a fantastic product that is consistent in all stores.
“We are renowned for our great vibe and the friendliness of our staff, and of course the tasty fresh products we provide.”
Boost Juice Ballarat, which has a store Wendouree and 10 ,months ago opened a second in central Ballarat, was a finalist in the Stockland Wendouree Retail Business Award last year.
“We are very proud to have been selected as a finalist for the second year running and think it’s a great complement to our developing and expanding business,” Mr Haans said.
Drone videography and photography are the latest addition to Hstudio’s diverse suite of marketing services.
Hstudios’s services incorporate all marketing mediums, providing creative and effective results for businesses in regional and metropolitan markets across Australia.
“We apply imagination and creativity throughout our design process that results in innovative marketing solutions,” owner and producer Pina Worsley said.
A diverse team of players means Hstudios is able to take on multiple projects across a broad range of mediums.
Their purpose-built facility is the first of its kind in regional Victoria.
“We don’t have to outsource, we have the staff with the experience to do it all here at Hstudios and this has been a major issue that our clients have been facing.
“By utilising our services clients only have to go to one place and the major benefit is their branding remains consistent.”
The Ad Group has a team of nine marketing specialists with the expert knowledge to take full advantage of advertising opportunities in a rapidly evolving digital market.
The team maximise their client’s investment with clever, cost effective strategies and concepts that harness street savvy and an in-depth understanding of web marketing.
“The Ad Group pride itself on developing successful advertising and marketing campaigns that deliver a better on your investment. It’s not about outspending the competition, it’s about outsmarting them,” owner Peter Brugman said.
The Ad Group puts a premium on strong relationships with their clients.
“We understand that producing great work requires a good partnership between ourselves and our clients, one of mutual co-operation and respect,” Mr Brugman said.
“The Ad Group combines education with ‘street smarts’ to create cost effective marketing solutions that will stimulate response, influence customers, increase brand awareness and grow business.”
Mass Motion is a full service creative agency delivering integrated communications campaigns through branding, motion graphics and video.
Their broad skill base and ability to think outside the box delivers standout, memorable marketing for their clients.
“Quality and creativity are the cornerstones of the business, solving complex business problems through powerful creativity,” director Luke Keys said.
Mass Motion moved to a new premises this year and continues to invest in its people and technology, Mr Keys said.
“I am very proud of our team and how we contribute in the growth and image of our city.
“I see us continuing to make work that has an impact putting Ballarat on the map as a city rich in creative talent.”
Oak Tree Ballarat Dental has reached full capacity in less than three years, boasts cutting edge technology and has more innovations to come.
The Longley Street surgery offers wisdom tooth extraction, orthodontic treatment, dental implants, endodontic treatment, crown and bridge work, veneers and treatment under general anaesthetic.
“Our surgery has experienced rapid growth to be running at full capacity in under three years,” dental surgeon and partner Dr Jessica Lim said.
“We have invested heavily in 3D technology to assist delivery of better and more efficient treatment options.”
“We have more brilliant ideas brewing at the Oak Tree Ballarat Dental HQ that we are excited to share with our community in the near future.”
The happiness of its staff and the pride they take in their work radiates through the surgery, Dr Lim said.
”We are passionate about providing outstanding yet affordable dentistry, in terms of both quality of treatment and customer service.
“We believe the key to our success is good old fashioned customer service and honest hard work. We are a happy bunch of people and take great pride in our work and feel this radiates through the surgery and reaches our patients.”
As a competition ballroom dancer, podiatrist Adrian Misseri has a special interest in dance feet.
The Nova Pharmacy Health and Wellbeing finalist opened his doors in February last year and is constantly evolving to meet patients’ needs.
Adrian Misseri Podiatry provides general podiatry, diabetes assessments, biomechanical and gait assessments, orthotic therapy and management of sprains, strains and aches as well as ingrowing toenail surgery.
“The key to my success is making sure that every patient consult is of the standard I’d expect if I was that patient, making sure that every ‘t’ is crossed and every ‘I’ is dotted behind the scenes and enjoying every day I open my doors,” Mr Misseri said.
Mr Misseri has years of experience in different settings and a passion for healthy, comfortable feet.
His vision for the future is to continue to deliver high quality foot care to the people of Ballarat and surrounding areas.
Raphael Services Ballarat at St John of God Ballarat Hospital goes beyond quality care to honour their patient’s dignity, affirm their strength and give them reason to hope.
Raphael Services provides specialist services to mums, dads and families who suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns during pregnancy and following childbirth, including pregnancy loss.
“We strive to serve the common good by providing holistic, ethical and person-centred care and support,” St John of God Ballarat Hospital Social Outreach Services manager Anthony Harrington said.
“We aim to go beyond quality care to provide an experience for people that honours their dignity, is compassionate and affirming, and leaves them with a reason to hope.
Raphael Services is the only service of its kind in the Grampians Region and offers a wrap-around model of care which includes a psychotherapist, access to psychiatrist review and an infant mental health practitioner and is available to all members of the community.
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