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LSBU celebrates wealth of local business talent at Southwark Business Awards Gala Finale

18 June 2019
Coffee champions take top prize at Southwark Business Excellence Awards’ Gala finale

Local business, Origin Coffee Roasters, was selected by judges as Southwark's ‘Business of the Year’ at the awards, held at the Hilton Bankside Hotel

'Origin Coffee Roasters' was crowned the best of the best at the dazzling closing ceremony (13 June) for the Southwark Business Excellence Awards (SBA) held at Hilton Bankside Hotel and sponsored by LSBU.

The campaign’s Gala Dinner and Charity Ball, hosted by TV presenter Michael Underwood, demonstrated the incredible mix and talent of businesses across Southwark.

Origin Coffee Roasters, nestled beneath Scoresby Street’s railway arches, was selected by judges as ‘Business of the Year’ from the cluster of different category winners. Sophie Egan and Umair Arshad, the company’s directors collected the award, having scooped the Best Food and Beverage prize, earlier in the evening.

Their coffee shop, serving breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch, only opened in Southwark last October. The judges were impressed by their highly professional attitude, civic engagement, innovation, strong commitment to sustainability, fantastic customer service, focus on staff training and development and support for the living wage.

Sophie said: “This is an amazing experience for us. We’re so proud to be a part of the Southwark community and this award is recognition of that. We believe we’ve won this time for the way we that engage with people, our customers, our staff and our ethos. Our Cornwall roots keep us humble. We look after our people.”

LSBU is the awards headline sponsor. During her gala dinner address, Angela Dalrymple, Director of Education and Student Experience in the University’s School of Business, highlighted LSBU’s successes. These included being ranked third in the whole of the UK for graduate employability, winning Entrepreneurial University of the Year and being 15th in the world for enterprise.

Angela highlighted the fact that there are 72 graduate business start-ups working alongside the University engaged in running programmes worth £9m and involving 700 SMEs. The University’s Passmore Centre - a one-stop shop connecting employers and apprentices - is a unique collaboration between the University, businesses and the local authority.

Angela said: “We’re really committed to supporting businesses in Southwark. We’ve been here since 1892, we are Southwark’s own university and we’re very proud of that.”

Alison May, Apprenticeships Manager at LSBU, added: “This has been a fantastic night that’s really showcased the diversity, innovation and strength of businesses in Southwark. Businesses are about relationships - with their community, their customers and their staff. Tonight celebrates that and it’s been great fun too.”

Councillor Stephanie Cryan, Southwark’s Cabinet Member for Jobs, Business and Innovation, said: “Southwark businesses are at the heart of our borough. You all play a vital role in strengthening our economy. Southwark is open for business and will continue to be, throughout Brexit and beyond. We have an ambition to be a full employment borough where barriers to work are swept away.”

Cllr Cryan highlighted how borough leaders are determined to double the number of living wage employers, to make the difference between employees “surviving and thriving”. She said that, for women, it was "time to smash the glass ceiling to smithereens".

Businesses were urged to sign up to the ‘Open the Door’ initiative, launching in October as part of the Awards campaign

Read the awards list in full.

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