There was much to celebrate at last night’s ENSE Awards and Gala Dinner, held as part of the buying consortium’s Spring Conference in the Belfry Hotel, Sutton Coldfield.
Accolades were given out to distributors and suppliers alike in front of an audience of industry luminaries enjoying a luxury three-course meal.
The night culminated with KCCJ winning ENSE’s Distributor of the Year Award for the first time, ahead of shortlisted nominees Catering Projects and Shine Catering Systems. This award was voted for by ENSE supplier members and according to the buying group’s MD Bob Adams, KCCJ scooped the victory as: “It has supported ENSE since the very early days, and continues to support training.
“This year, KCCJ grew its business with ENSE suppliers by 123% and bought from 81% of members.”
Earlier in the night, Hebburn-based RDA was recognised as the distributor who had increased its ENSE business the most, upping its spend by an incredible 173% in 2018 to clinch the Top Growth Award.
The Director’s Award, recognising smaller distributors, was won for the first time by Sylvester Keal, beating Bluestone Catering Solutions, Fulcrum Commercial Kitchens and KCM Catering Equipment.
Sylvester Keal MD Martyn Keal accepted the trophy and commented: “A big thanks goes to ENSE, we have grown so much with them. We have massive plans and they will be driven by our membership of ENSE and we will continue to embrace it.”
Fulcrum still had much to toast though, as it scooped the Training Champion Award ahead of Fatboys Catering Equipment and KCCJ for participating in every ENSE training event in 2018. MD David Burnett said: “Thank you to ENSE for the effort getting everyone together and creating this great atmosphere.”
Another dealer honour was handed out to the Newcomer of the Year, for one of the newest dealers to the group who had created a great impact. The Airedale Group came top here, beating Complete Intacare Hygiene, Crosbys Catering Supplies, Elite Foodservice, CEBA Solutions, Sprint Group, Walker Catering Supplies and Willis Jenkins.
Suppliers got their time to shine too. In the equivalent Newcomer of the Year category, tableware specialist Neville UK was first in the pile, ahead of Die-Pat Divisions, Harrison Carr, Hendi UK and Stellex Manufacturing.
While BGL Rieber was given the Top Growth Award for suppliers, increasing its ENSE business last year by 116%.
In the Heavy Equipment Supplier of the Year Award, voted for by ENSE dealers, Maidaid Halcyon triumphed for a second time in 3 years. The warewasher supplier has supported ENSE for 6 years and last year sold to 87% of the buying group’s dealers, growing its business with the consortium by 31%. Runners-up were Meiko UK and Rational.
The Light Equipment Supplier of the Year Award went to EAIS for the fourth consecutive year, this time ahead of European Watercare and Instanta. The kitchen storage firm has supported ENSE for 5 years and in 2018 grew its buying group business by 55% by selling to 84% of the members.
Finally, in the Associated Products/Services Supplier of the Year category, First Choice Group bagged the title for the second year in a row, with Flamefast Fire Systems and Johnson Reed Business Finance also nominated. First Choice increased its business with ENSE distributors by 50% last year, selling to 86% of members.
Prior to this, the ceremony began with ENSE honouring all the dealers and suppliers which grew their ENSE trade by 50% or more.
The nine distributors comprised: BBCS, Bluestone Catering Solutions, Catering Projects, Essential Supplies, GastroNorth, i-Line Counters, KCCJ, RDA and Shine Catering Systems.
And the 11 suppliers were: BGL Rieber, Charvet, EAIS, European Watercare, First Choice Group, HVAC Ventilation, MCS Technical Products, Mercer Culinary, Pelsis, Thunder Group and Williams Refrigeration.
ENSE’s Bob Adams commented: “It takes a lot of effort for suppliers and distributors to grow by over 50%. They have to put in a lot of commitment and dedication.”
The ENSE Spring Conference will conclude today.