Artisan cheese makers named Telstra Tasmanian Business of the Year

Media Release, 08 July 2013

Bruny Island Cheese Co., a unique agritourism and artisan cheese producer who makes Australia’s only unpasteurised cheese, has been named the 2013 Telstra Tasmanian Business of the Year in Hobart. The Hon Lara Giddings MP, Premier of Tasmania and Will Irving, Group Managing Director of Telstra Business, presented the prestigious award.

Bruny Island Cheese Co., which also took out the Small Business and Regional Business Awards, is the result of a 10 year odyssey by Managing Director Nick Haddow who has worked with specialist cheese-makers in France, Italy, Spain and Australia to perfect the art of artisan cheese making.

Mr Haddow established the cheese making and agritourism business on Bruny Island in 2003 with partner Leonie Struthers, using traditional cheese making techniques. The duo’s marketing methods however embrace modern technology and they have built a national client base through email and social media. Despite their geographical isolation, their cellar door is visited by thousands of people each year.

“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,” Mr Haddow said.

“Cheese making is a pursuit of integrity and flavour and Tasmania is an ideal location for these pursuits.”

Other winners of Telstra Tasmanian Business Awards showcase the best sites Tasmania has to offer, including Hobart based Tasmanian Air Adventures which won the Start-Up Award. Launched 12 months ago by Christiaan Durrant and Tim Robertson, the business uses seaplanes to share and exhibit Tasmania’s pristine wilderness.

Hobart’s Jump Tours, which is on a mission to improve the range of affordable backpacking options for younger adventurers, won the Micro-Business Award, while another Hobart enterprise, Collins SBA Complete Wealth Specialists, took out the Medium Business Award.

Michael Patterson, Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager for Tasmania, said Bruny Island Cheese Co. was a fantastic example of how a Tasmanian business had persevered with its passion to become a standout in the local community and create opportunities for other businesses.

“Judges were impressed with how Bruny Island Cheese Co. pays tribute to its surrounding environment and accesses quality suppliers of Tasmanian ingredients to innovate, produce and distribute unique cheeses around Australia,” he said.

“They are a technologically advanced company with artisan roots that has become a sustainable and resilient business with strong values and a solid brand.”

The Telstra Australian Business Awards were launched in 1992 to recognise the achievements of small and medium businesses and to share their growth ideas and strategies to benefit the wider business community.

“We are thrilled each year to learn about businesses that innovate, persevere and thrive, even through tough economic conditions, and I encourage Tasmanians to nominate businesses now for the 2014 awards,” Mr Patterson said.

The winners of the 2013 Telstra Tasmanian Business Awards announced tonight in Hobart are:

Telstra Tasmanian Business of the Year

Bruny Island Cheese Co., Bruny Island

Start-Up Award

Tasmanian Air Adventures, Hobart
An eco-tourism business using seaplanes to take visitors to the state’s unique and pristine wilderness areas. Judges described Tasmanian Air Adventures a tourism Mecca, offering absolute value for money and a genuinely unique Tasmanian experience through a combination of extraordinary scenic flights and the ability to wander through the wilderness.

Micro-Business Award

Jump Tours, Hobart
A tourism and accommodation operator harnessing new media to make Tasmania a hot destination for backpackers. Judges said Jump Tours displayed sustainability, innovation, targeted sales and marketing with an excellent use of technology to target international backpackers.

Small Business Award

Bruny Island Cheese Co., Bruny Island

Medium Business Award

Collins SBA Complete Wealth Specialist, Hobart
A shared passion to create secure financial futures for business owners is the ethos of Collins SBA Complete Wealth Specialist which offers a range of wealth management and advisory services. Judges said the business had created an effective one stop shop for wealth creation with staff who are complete wealth specialists offering an integrated service model underpinned by solid values and ethics.

Regional Award

Bruny Island Cheese Co., Bruny Island
Winners of the Telstra Tasmanian Business Awards will be judged against category winners from other states and territories in the lead up to the national Telstra Australian Business Awards to be announced in Sydney on 22 August. Winners of the 2013 Awards will share in more than $500,000 in prizes, which is split among state, territory and national winners.

For more information about the Award winners, or to nominate for the 2014 Telstra Australian Business Awards, visit the Telstra Business Awards website.