A PIONEERING recycling company scooped the top award at a glittering Bedfordshire ceremony yesterday.
2K Manufacturing, which employs 40 people at its base in Airport Way, Luton takes waste plastic and turns it into wood-replacement panels and other uses.
The firm, started five years ago by lifelong friends Omer Kutluoglu and Turul Taskent, scooped the overall county winner award at the Bedfordshire Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) awards at the Mansion House, in Old Warden Park, near Biggleswade.
2K Manufacturing also won the green award, sponsored by Luton’s Basepoint Innovation and Business Centre, and was runner up in the enterprising business award, sponsored by Luton Borough Council.
Peter Ball, 2K Manufacturing’s sales director, said: “We have got a really fantastic product which can sell itself. We are unique because we are doing something others aren’t doing and I think we tick every box.”
The company was praised by the judges as being a “very clear winner” in the green award category for having a “brilliant concept.” The company also wins a £5,000 advertising package from Premier Newspapers.
David Glover, general manager of headline sponsor Mercedes-Benz of Bedford, praised the “amazing” breadth and quality of entrants. “Bedfordshire is facing the challenges of the economy absolutely head on. This room is full of winners,” he said.
Charles Smith, regional chairman of the FSB, echoed Mr Glover, saying: “There are no losers here. Even by being in the running you have made it through while many others have fallen by the wayside.”
The other main winners were Bedford’s Kerry Cash, who picked up the business woman of the year title, the award for the networking group of the year as president of Bedfordshire Business Women and came runner up in training and development and service excellence.
Luton property magnate Mohammed Nadeem was praised as Bedfordshire’s answer to Alan Sugar in winning the real life entrepreneur award. He also finished runner-up as business person of the year.
Zak Resinato, of Jagged Edge, who has three salons in Bedford, Sandy and Clapham was was judged to be the “runaway winner” of the young business person of the year category.
The full list of winners:
> Best new business, sponsored by My Incubator: Traditional toy shop Fairies and Frogs, in Dunstable Street, Ampthill. Runner-up: Brainwork Marketing of Aspley Heath.
> Training and development, sponsored by Bullet Point Media: Solicitors Osborne Morris & Morgan, in West Street, Leighton Buzzard. Runner up: 5th Avenue Hair & Beauty Spa, in Howard Street, Bedford.
> Retailer of the year, sponsored by Bushwood: Fogarty Formal Wear, North Street, Leighton Buzzard. Runner-up: Traditional toy shop Fairies and Frogs, in Dunstable Street, Ampthill.
> Business innovation, sponsored by Knowledge Hub, Harmony Internet, in Station Road, Biggleswade. Runner-up: TaxAssist Accountants, Bedford.
> Business person of the year, sponsored by HilliersHRW Solicitors: Irena Oliver, in Weltmore Road, Luton. Runner-up: Mohammed Nadeem, of Nadeem Property Services, in Dunstable Road, Luton.
> Business Woman of the year, sponsored by Bedfordshire Business Women: Kerry Cash, of 5th Avenue Hair & Beauty Spa, in Howard Street, Bedford. Runner-up: Kathy Birch, of the Mansion House, Old Warden Park, near Biggleswade.
> Employee of the year, sponsored by White Hart Press: Daniel Young, of Cowley Holmes Accountants LLP, in Goldington Road, Bedford. Runner-up: Renata Bernotiene, of the White Horse pub, Newnham Avenue, Bedford.
> Enterprising business, sponsored by Luton Borough Council: The Mansion House, Old Warden Park, near Biggleswade. Runner up: 2K Manufacturing, Airport Way, Luton.
> Franchisee of the year, sponsored by FM Group: Riverford, of Atterbury Avenue, Leighton Buzzard. Runner-up: Dave Masterson, of Tax Assist Accountants in Leighton Buzzard and Dunstable.
> Networking group of the year, sponsored by Specsavers, Dunstable: Bedfordshire Business Women. Runner-up: Beds New Business Network.
> Real life entrepreneur, sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses: Mohammed Nadeem, of Nadeem Property Services, in Dunstable Road, Luton. Runner-up: David Lambert, of Pronto Services, in Green End Road, Great Barford.
> Service excellence, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Bedford: The Embankment, Bedford. Runner-up: 5th Avenue Hair & Beauty Spa, in Howard Street, Bedford.
> Green award, sponsored by Basepoint Innovation and Business Centre: 2K Manufacturing, Airport Way, Luton. Runner-up: EcoStyle, of Butterfield, Great Marlings, Luton.
> Young business person, sponsored by TaxAssist Accountants: Salon owner Zak Resinato, of Jagged Edge, High Street, Bedford. Runner-up: Rakash Mattu, of Premier Solicitors, in Lurke Street, Bedford.