Biz Gallery: Clean sweep as laundry and artisan soap maker among the winners at first awards

Winners of the first Poole Business Awards, held at Upton House. Picture: Paul Collins/PC Visuals.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: November 12, 2021 | Updated: 12th November 2021

They ranged from an artisan soap maker to the UK’s largest domestic laundry.

Also a hospice charity, an eco-friendly website, a seafood festival and a personal training business helping stroke survivors lead a more independent life through rehabilitation.

The most diverse group of businesses, organisations and individuals you can imagine.

But each one a winner at the first Poole Business Awards.

Around 60 people attended the inaugural event on November 9, held at Upton House.

Among the winners was Matthew Barker, of Barker Group, who received the Dorset MIND Special Award for Excellence in the Community.

The Wallisdown-based laundry business and specialist dry cleaner was also named Overall Business of the Year.

The twin success came just days after it won a national award for ‘Responsible Business’ at the Laundry & Drycleaning Awards (LADAs).

Matthew said: “We feel enormously privileged to receive two such prestigious awards.

“They were completely unexpected and I feel both delighted and humbled.”

Many of the businesses and individuals were receiving an award for the first time.

Nigel Reeve, of organisers Marketing West Events, pictured, said the number of entries – 124 – far exceeded expectations.

Fifty entries were received before the official launch on September 7.

Such was the success that he confirmed the Poole Business Awards is to become a permanent feature with the next final earmarked for November 2022.

Nigel said: “We have been bowled over by the response.

“Our aim has been to boost business and we’ve more than achieved that.

“The feedback has been excellent and I’m absolutely delighted.

“I’ve already had two emails asking how to enter for next year’s awards!”

Jay Rachet compered the awards which were streamed live on YouTube and can be viewed by clicking here.

The full results were:

  • Health, Beauty and Fitness Award (sponsored by Laser Crystal): The Fitness Formula and JK House (Joint Winners)
  • Hospitality Business of the Year (sponsored by NFU Mutual): SALT Cø
  • Independent Business of the Year (sponsored by Saffery Champness): Luvwed
  • Green/Eco Business of the Year (sponsored by Gavin Dixon Finance Solutions): &Keep
  • Start Up Business of the Year (sponsored by Bournemouth University): Podcast Labs
  • Excellence in Customer Service (sponsored by Dutton Gregory): Protect Line
  • Tourism Business of the Year (sponsored by Upton Country Park): Poole Seafood Festival
  • Best Place to Work (sponsored by Yellow Coaches): Lewis-Manning Hospice Care
  • Service Provider of the Year (sponsored by Dorset Growth Hub): Dutton Gregory and Poole Waste Not Want Not (Joint Winners)
  • Young Entrepreneur/Rising Star (sponsored by Bournemouth University Business School): Rebecca East/Dutton Gregory and Jessica Wicks/Jessica Ross (Joint Winners)
  • Artisan/Local Produce Provider (sponsored by NFU Mutual): Lytchett Bay Soaps
  • Excellence in the Community (The Dorset MIND Special Award): Matthew Barker/Barker Group
  • Overall Business of the Year (sponsored by Poole BID): Barker Group

Sponsors and supporters of the awards were:


Dorset Biz News Gallery – pictures by Paul Collins/PC Visuals

Health, Beauty and Fitness Award – Fitness Formula (Joint Winner).

Health, Beauty and Fitness Award – JK House (Joint Winner).

Hospitality Business of the Year – SALT Cø

Independent Business of the Year – Luvwed.

Green/Eco Business of the Year – &Keep.

Start Up Business of the Year – Podcast Labs.

Excellence in Customer Service – Protect Line.

Tourism Business of the Year – Poole Seafood Festival.

Best Place to Work – Lewis-Manning Hospice Care.

Service Provider of the Year – Dutton Gregory (Joint Winner).

Service Provider of the Year – Poole Waste Not Want Not (Joint Winner).

Young Entrepreneur/Rising Star – Jessica Wicks (Joint Winner).

Young Entreprenuer/Rising Star – Rebecca East (Joint Winner).

Artisan/Local Produce Provider – Lychett Bay Soaps.

Excellence in the Community – Matthew Barker/Barker Group.

Overall Business of the Year – Barker Group.

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