THE winners of the 2023 Winchester Business Excellence Awards were announced at an exclusive awards event at Winchester College.

The Little Kitchen Company took home the top prize of Business Of The Year, at the event on Thursday June 1.

Nine other awards were handed out to some of the hardest-working businesses in the city. 

Cait Salanson, from The Little Kitchen Company, also won business leader of the year. 

Catherine Thurston, The Little Kitchen Company head of sales, said: "We're extremely proud for the whole team involved. It really is a team effort and we're growing all the time. 

"We recently moved into new premises in Winnall Industrial Estate which is very exciting. 

"We all work really hard for the company and we're encouraged to push ourselves, not just for the company, but for our own personal achievement. 

"It was a real surprise to us the win the overall award, we're so proud."

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Business Excellence Awards 2023

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The Millennium Egg award was won by Mark and Eleanor Dodd from The Chesil Rectory. 

Mark said: "Thanks for the award, we're so grateful to accept it on behalf of our hard-working team. We have been in the city for 20 years. It's a wonderful place to be. It's a privilege to be custodians of the Chesil Rectory. 

"We have made some wonderful friends over the years. Thank you very much indeed." 

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Business Excellence Awards 2023

The Millennium Egg, a crafted ornament presented annually to an outstanding local businessperson for their services to the Winchester district economy, was donated to the council by Jeremy France of Jeremy France Jewellers.

Laura Taylor, chief executive of Winchester City Council, said: “Many congratulations to Eleanor and Mark, whose two outstanding businesses embody that unique, independent brand of Winchester retail that brings so much appeal to our fabulous city, which is regularly recognised as one of the finest places to live in the county and country.

“The acclaimed hospitality and beautiful local and historic settings of Inn the Park and the Chesil Rectory, as well as the support that Eleanor and Mark provide to those starting out in hospitality careers, are the very spirit of what makes Winchester such a desirable destination to shop, live and work.”  

Martin Hibbert, survivor of the Manchester Arena bombing attack, spoke about his work with the Spinal Injuries Association. He raised £1million last year by hand-cycling up Kilimanjaro. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Business Excellence Awards 2023

The Winchester Business Excellence Awards are organised in partnership by the Hampshire Chronicle, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Winchester BID and were open to businesses within the Winchester district to recognise their achievements.

This year's event - the 21st annual ceremony - was sponsored by Paris Smith, Dutton Gregory, Winchester City Council, Winchester University, Winchester BID, Azets, Gentian and Ridge & Partners. The awards are also supported by Natwest, Honey & Harvey, Little Kitchen and Chesil House who all joined together to celebrate the success of all the finalists and announce the overall winners.

The 2023 winners are:

Business Leader - Cait Salanson from The Little Kitchen Company

Creative and Cultural - Play to the Crowd

Technology and Digital Innovation - 878 AD (Part of Hampshire Cultural Trust) 

Large Business - Dutton Gregory Solicitors

New Business - House of Boêmia

Service Excellence - Nony Kerr-Smiley Estate Agents

SME/Independent Business - New Energy Yoga

Social Enterprise and Charity - Winchester Go LD

Sustainable Business - Aspiga

Business Of The Year - The Little Kitchen Company.

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