Media Release, 22 July 2015

Health food business Amazonia, which founder and owner Dwayne Martens based on the acai berry ‘superfood,’ has tonight been named the 2015 Telstra New South Wales Business of the Year.

Eight years ago, twenty-two year-old Dwayne Martens left his final semester at university in pursuit of introducing the acai berry phenomenon – the fruit sourced from the Amazon with natural antioxidant and fibre-rich properties – to Australian markets.

Starting out in 2008 producing organic freeze dried acai berry powder and capsules hand-packed at a Fremantle organic restaurant, Mr Martens teamed up with now CEO Chris Norden in 2009 to expand the Amazonia business.

In 2013, Moore Park based Amazonia launched its Raw nutritional range of supplements that includes multi, energy, greens, pre-probiotic and protein blends – and a sugar crave release spray - all of which contain raw and natural certified organic ingredients.

Mr Martens says: “Amazonia is about making the best choices available to us, especially when it comes to health and the environment, including sustainability.

“Through constant innovation, Amazonia provides what customers are looking for or have not yet been able to attain within the healthcare industry.

“Amazonia is proud to be part of a global sustainable movement, directly impacting more than 10,000 families and 10,000 acres of natural land and ecosystems in a positive way.”
After surviving a near-crippling loss of inventory during the Queensland floods of 2011, Mr Martens says Amazonia has grown to 19 full time staff and imports 36,000 tonnes of acai a month.

Mr Martens says the company’s success has come from “solid foundations, high-level mentoring, pure passion, hard work, a bulging health food and superfood market, savvy consumers, ethical practices and involvement in fair trade and certified organic markets.”

Other winners of the 2015 Telstra New South Wales Business Awards named tonight at The Westin in Sydney include Paddington fitness business Flow Athletic, iced tea beverage producer Nexba, Chatswood direct-debit billing and online payment service Ezypay, and independently-owned Murrumbidgee cotton ginning facility Southern Cotton.

Will Irving, Telstra Business Group Managing Director and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, said: “The five New South Wales winners are brilliant and inspiring businesses that are being celebrated for innovation, industry leadership, creative use of technology and their contribution to the local economy.

“Amazonia is a very value-driven and highly ethical business that shows good diversity. After suffering the flood damage in 2011, they recovered to become an even better business.

“The Telstra Awards judges noted Amazonia has improved its marketing processes and systems following feedback given to the online business when it was a finalist in the Awards in 2011,” Mr Irving said.

Winners of the 2015 Telstra New South Wales Business Awards are:

Start-up Award
Flow Athletic Paddington
After owning three gyms and running 34 marathons, personal trainer and former NRL player Benjamin Lucas was looking for his next business idea in the fitness industry. While training for an ultra-marathon, Benjamin met yogi Kate Kendall. Kate taught Benjamin yoga while he began to train her. Realising their skills were complementary, Flow Athletic was created. It combines yoga practice with cardio and strength training and has expanded to include dance and boxing classes, outdoor boot camp and personal training. Telstra Judges praised Flow Athletic’s marketing and growth plans. They said its financials, presentation and competitive analysis was strong and it was already an impressive story of growth.

Micro Business Award
Nexba Sydney
The story of beverage brand Nexba began on a beach in Rio Nexba, Mexico in 2010 with engineer Drew Bilbe enjoying a cold glass of ice tea. Inspired to create his own natural, low-calorie real ice tea, he teamed with his childhood friend Troy Douglas to launch Nexba, a beverage made by Aussies for Aussies, in 2011. In December 2014, Nexba launched in Coles supermarkets and sold its three millionth can. The duo credits their success to strong mentors. Telstra Judges said Nexba was an impressive company, with great diversity and company culture. The business had strong financials and displayed strong opportunity for growth.

Small Business Award
Amazonia Sydney

Medium Business Award
Ezypay Chatswood
Direct-debit billing and online payment service Ezypay has helped Australian businesses collect payments since 1996. Its systems assist local businesses to maintain regular cash flow and automate payment collections. In 2012, Ezypay launched iconnect360, an industry-first, cloud-based membership management software with full-integrated billing that caters specifically to the gym and fitness sector. Amid the rise in 24-hour fitness clubs, iconnect360 is now available in Australasia and in six Asian countries including China. Telstra Awards Judges said Ezypay was a very dynamic business with solid finances that was growing globally. It has a strong diversity program and further opportunities for growth.

Regional Award
Southern Cotton Whitton
Tired of carting their cotton 400 kilometres to get ginned, six Murrumbidgee farmers pooled resources to build their own gin. Southern Cotton was born in 2011 when a Greenfield site in Whitton was transformed into a $26 million gin that processed 166,234 bales in its first year. The business deploys best-in-class technology, from paddock to the finished bale, to give growers the best returns. Awards Judges said the business had revitalised the local area and the owners were very passionate about success and giving back to the community. They said Southern Cotton has a solid business plan and huge potential for growth.

Telstra New South Wales Business of the Year
Winners of the Telstra NSW Business Awards will now proceed to the 2015 Telstra Australian Business Awards that will be announced in Sydney on 20 August.

For more information about the Awards or to nominate for the 2016 Telstra Australian Business Awards, visit or call 1800 AWARDS between 9am and 7pm AEST Monday to Friday. The Awards were established in 1992 to celebrated brilliant Australian small and medium businesses.