AN awards ceremony took place to celebrate outstanding town centre businesses.

The Colchester Business awards is a new event hosted by Our Colchester Business Improvement District.

The awards took place in Moot Hall in Colchester Town Hall.

The Three Wise Monkeys took the prize for the Colchester Business of the Year while the George Hotel won the award for Large Business of the Year and Red Lion Books for SME/ Independent of the Year.

The Employer of the Year award went to the Mercury Theatre and the executive director Steve Mannix and won the Leader of the Year title as well.


The Community Business of the Year award and the best for Innovation and Customer Service went to Best Days vintage shop.

The Businessperson of the Year award went to Victoria Johnson, the co-owner of Dear Grace home interior shop.

Gazette: Best new business - Victoria Yum bakeryBest new business - Victoria Yum bakery

The Young Businessperson of the Year award went to James Channon, the owner of Sir Isaac's Artisan Coffee which also won the Service Excellence Award.

Gazette: Winner - Steve Mannix wins awards for the Mercury TheatreWinner - Steve Mannix wins awards for the Mercury Theatre

Finally, Suzanne Burnham won the Business Hero award for Bon Appetit, which makes sandwiches, salads, buffet catering and sandwich platters.

There were 25 judges who are selected for their involvement in Colchester and votes were open to the public for many of the awards.

Gazette: Young businessperson - James Channon winsYoung businessperson - James Channon wins

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Colchester mayor Robert Davidson was one of the judges who made a decision towards the Business of the Year award before it went out to a public vote.

He said: “It was encouraging to see so many businesses getting involved in the judging and entering.

“There was a buzz to it with people being proud to be part of Colchester and it was full of younger start-ups and some of the big businesses too.

“It was nice to see the Mercury Theatre winning two awards as Steve Mannix has really made the place a big part of the community.

“It’s important to get a unique feel for Colchester, there’s lots of small businesses and it’s just a friendly place.”