The latest from St Albans Chamber of Commerce

St Albans Chamber of Commerce Community Business Awards 2014 - Best Restaurant winner: Chamber Presi

St Albans Chamber of Commerce Community Business Awards 2014 - Best Restaurant winner: Chamber President Peter Goodman, Richard Marrett from St Michael's Manor, and Herts Advertiser food writer Becky Alexander - Credit: Archant

Wow! The St Albans Chamber of Commerce Community Business Awards were blooming marvellous!

Taking place on September 25, the event saw the district’s business people come together in the spectacular setting of St Albans Cathedral.

These awards celebrate the outstanding contribution of business to the community of the St Albans district. They are based not solely on successes and achievements but also upon the impact of those achievements on the business community and the people working within it.

The awards are open to all businesses whose business strategy encompasses policies and projects that have a positive impact on the district. These activities should bring about economic, social or environmental benefits for the community.

Over 200 representatives from the business community arrived at the Abbey to a sparkling atmosphere surrounded by the glorious and spectacular floral arrangements created by the flower guild for the Music in Bloom festival.

After some food, musical entertainment by singer Holly Aldridge and a champagne reception in the South Transept guests moved excitedly into the red carpeted awards area in the nave. Many of our guests had never been to St Albans before let alone our Abbey which just looking so dramatic and beautiful.

The awards ceremony was hosted by myself, chamber director Paul Rosenthal and Heart FM breakfast show host Natalie B. Seven awards were presented and we had 35 finalists in attendance. All were congratulated for reaching the shortlist stage as the stakes were high in all categories – a true reflection of the talent we have within the St Albans district.

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Each category sponsorpresented awards to the following winners:

• President’s Award 2014 winner - Abraham Bejerano, owner Sopwell House Hotel

• New Business 2014 winner - The Chocolate Wrapper

• Young Person of the Year 2014 winner - Morgana Evans

• Green Business of the Year 2014 winner - BRE

• Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2014 winner - Raindrops on Roses

• Business Leader of the Year 2014 winner - Andrei Lussmann

• Best Restaurant 2014 winner - The Lake Restaurant at St Michael’s Manor Hotel

One sponsor, Ian Hopkins from Debenhams Ottaway solicitors, said: “I have worked with four other Chambers of Commerce around the country during my career and can homestly say the St Albans Chamber is one of the friendliest and most certainly the most dynamic.” We couldn’t agree more!

Winner of the President’s Award 2014 Abraham Bejerano thanked his team at Sopwell House Hotel and also St Albans District Council for enabling him to make his vision for the hotel a reality over the years. He was duly congratulated with a huge round of applause from the guests.

Chamber President Peter Goodman said he was so proud to be associated with the Chamber of Commerce and felt very inspired by all the fantastic finalists. He then thanked our event sponsors: Rayner Essex Accountants, Debenhams Ottaway, Oaklands College, St Albans District Council, Harpenden Building Society, Hertfordshire Business Independent and the Herts Advertiser for their valued support.

We have two networking events in October, a business breakfast on Wednesday October 15 at 7.30am at Aldwickbury Golf Club with guest speaker Nicola Horlick, CEO of Money & Co. Then Speed Networking on October 21 at 6pm at Westminster Lodge, both events can be booked now online.