Tassie artisan cheesemaker Bruny Island Cheese Co. and its Founder Nick Haddow scooped the 2013 Telstra Business Awards in Sydney last night, winning in the Small Business category and the overall Australian Business of the Year Award.
After perfecting his craft over a decade working with specialist cheesemakers in Europe and Australia, Haddow moved to Bruny Island just south of Hobart and launched Bruny Island Cheese Co. in 2003. Haddow’s win marks the first time a Tasmanian business has taken out the top award in the 21-year history of the Telstra Australian Business Awards. Telstra said Bruny Island Cheese Co. was recognised not only for the quality of its cheese but also for the role it plays in sustaining local agri-tourism and supporting dairy farmers in the island community south-east of Hobart.
Growing up in Adelaide, Haddow (top left in the picture, right, with his team) discovered his passion for good food, wine and cheese while studying hotel management and working in some of the city’s best restaurants. With Bruny Island Cheese Co., Haddow has channeled that passion into perfecting fine raw milk cheese.
“I am a traditionalist who recognises that great cheese was made for centuries before modern technology played a role and I believe passionately in the old way of making, maturing and marketing cheese,” Haddow said. “For me cheesemaking is a pursuit of integrity, authenticity and flavour. There is no substitute for quality. We are only as good as the last batch of cheese we made.”
Bruny Island Cheese Co. sells onsite, online and through email marketing to its 8,300-strong member Cheese Club. As luck would have it, Haddow wasn’t able to accept his awards person last night as he was in Iceland as part of a Churchill Fellowship he was awarded in 2012.
Will Irving, Group Managing Director of Telstra Business and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, said the 2013 national winners and finalists were even more diverse than recent years, reflecting the weakening of mining-sector driven growth.
“There were more technology-based solutions coming from the businesses this year, more gender diversity in the finalists’ leadership, and a strong focus on substance and sustainability, both economically and in the broader social and environmental sense,” Irving said.
Here’s the run down of all the winners from the national 2013 Telstra Business Awards.
- Start-Up Award: Health.com.au (Melbourne)
- Micro-Business Award: ENIQUEST (Warana, Qld)
- Small Business Award: Bruny Island Cheese Co.
- Medium Business Award: Becker Helicopter Services (Marcoola, Qld)
- Regional Award: iKOU (Blue Mountains, NSW)
- 2013 Australian Business of the Year Award: Bruny Island Cheese Co.
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