Purbeck Business Awards 2024 winners announced

The names of the 11 winners of the Purbeck Business Awards 2024 have been revealed with Wareham’s Italian Kitchen restaurant scooping the top title of business of the year.

The lunchtime awards ceremony, which aims to celebrate and promote Purbeck businesses, took place at The Mowlem’s Showbar in Swanage, Dorset on Thursday 8th February 2024.

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Purbeck business awards with mayors

Hosting the event Nigel Reeve (left) with Wareham town mayor Carol Turner (centre) and Swanage town mayor Tina Foster (right) presenting the awards

Two town mayors presented the awards

Invited to present the awards were Swanage town mayor Tina Foster and Wareham town mayor Carol Turner, while Nigel Reeve hosted the event, whose company Marketing West Events organises business awards across Dorset.

Winners 2024

  • Outstanding freelancer / self-employed sponsored by Purple Accountants: Andy Knill
  • New business of the year sponsored by the Purbeck Gazette: Grange Gallery
  • Cafe, pub and casual dining sponsored by NFU Mutual: Garden Gate Tea Room
  • Tourism business of the year sponsored by Total Guide To: Swanage Railway
  • Young entrepreneur sponsored by Chococo: Shannon Richards, head chef at The Italian Kitchen
  • Outstanding B2B sponsored by Bipcom Telecoms: Fresh Leaf Creative
  • Family business sponsored by Ellis Jones: Holme for Gardens
  • Excellence in customer service sponsored by MRF Fabrications: Jurassic Care
  • Restaurant of the year sponsored by Purbeck Jobs: The Italian Kitchen
  • Best place to work sponsored by Action Coach: A F Joy
  • Independent business of the year sponsored by Ward Goodman accountants: Corbens Estate Agents
  • Overall business of the year: The Italian Kitchen
Purbeck Business awards winner overall Italian Kitchen

Purbeck business of the year award 2024 was presented to the Italian Kitchen team

Top award for Wareham’s The Italian Kitchen

The Italian Kitchen restaurant on Wareham Quay was voted by the judges as the overall Purbeck business of the year for 2024. The company also runs the Italian Bakery in Wareham and Swanage. Accepting the award, the business’s director of creativity Olly Rouse said:

“There’s many cogs in our business that we need to thank. who enable us to make this all work. I’m surprised and overwhelmed by this overall award. We have plenty of ambition for the future and we hope to see you all in our businesses sometime soon!”         

Purbeck business awards

The lunchtime awards presentation was held at The Showbar in The Mowlem with a lovely view of Swanage Bay

Quality and range of local businesses

Event organiser Nigel Reeve came up with the idea to create grassroots business awards during lockdown as a way to recognise the quality and range of local businesses, as well as aiming to give a boost during a challenging economic time. 

He has now created a network of events in Dorset towns including Bournemouth, Poole, Ringwood, Christchurch, Gillingham, Wimborne, Dorchester, Weymouth, Portland, Bridport, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Lyme/Charmouth and Ferndown, as well as Purbeck.

Nigel said:

“One of the heartening aspects of these awards is that 10 percent of those nominated are new businesses, which just goes to show that we are fighting back after Covid. 

“Our mission is to recognise and reward the local businesses that have made a significant contribution to the local economy, business innovation and community spirit and we’re delighted by the number of entrants this year. 

“We’re already planning for next year’s Purbeck Business Awards, as well as organising a Purbeck Business Exchange event later this year, where we will invite guest speakers to talk on a business topic – any suggestions of who you’d like us to ask to speak are welcome!”  

Winners 2024 in pictures

Purbeck business awards winner Andy Knill sponsor The Purple Accountants

Outstanding freelancer / self-employed award, sponsored by Purple Accountants, was presented to Swanage artist Andy Knill

Purbeck business awards winner Wareham Grange Gallery sponsor Purbeck Gazette (

New business of the year award was won by Grange Gallery in Wareham and sponsored by the Purbeck Gazette. As Grange Gallery was unable to attend, it is pictured here with the magazine’s editor Paul Jones

Purbeck Business Awards winner Garden Gate tearooms Richard Garrett sponsor NFU Mutual(

Cafe, pub and casual dining award, sponsored by NFU Mutual, presented to Richard Garrett of Garden Gate Tea Room in Wareham

Purbeck Business Awards winner Swanage Railway Liz Sellen sponsor The Total Guide to Liz Hutchings

Tourism business of the year award, sponsored by Total Guide To and presented by Liz Hutchings to Liz Sellen of Swanage Railway

Purbeck Business Awards winner Shannon Richards sponsor Chococo

Young entrepreneur award, sponsored by Chococo and presented by Claire Burnet to Shannon Richards, head chef at The Italian Kitchen

Purbeck Business Awards winner Fresh Leaf Creative Lucy Down sponsor Gary Buglas Bipcom Telecoms

Outstanding B2B award, sponsored by Gary Buglass of Bipcom Telecoms, was presented to Lucy Down of the website and branding business Fresh Leaf Creative

Purbeck Business Awards winner Holme for Gardens sponsor Ellis Jones Solicitors

Family business award, sponsored by Ellis Jones, was presented to Simon Goldsack and Sue Shilvock of Holme for Gardens

Purbeck Business Awards winner Jurassic Care Tracie Smith sponsor MRF Fabrications

Excellence in customer service award, sponsored by MRF Fabrications, was presented to Tracie Smith of Jurassic Care

Restaurant of the year award, sponsored by Purbeck Jobs was presented by Adam Kiddell to the team from The Italian Kitchen restaurant located on Wareham Quay

Purbeck Business Awards winner AF Joy sponsorThe action coach

Best place to work award, sponsored by Action Coach, was won by clothes supplier A F Joy in Wareham and picked up by Wareham town mayor on the staff’s behalf

Purbeck Business awards winner Corbens sponsor Ward Goodman


Independent business of the year award, sponsored by Ward Goodman accountants, was presented to John Corben (centre right) of Corbens Estate Agents based in Swanage

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