Surrey free-from food company Creative Nature and its CEO Julianne Ponan scooped two prestigious titles at the 2021 Surrey Business Awards.
The awards, organised by Platinum Media Group, are the largest event of its kind in the county with more than 320 of the county’s leading businesspeople gathered for the event held at Denbies Wine Estate near Dorking.
Creative Nature, which has its HQ in West Molesey, was named International Business of the Year and Julianne was named Business Person of the Year.
She said: “I am absolutely delighted Creative Nature scooped up two of the biggest awards on the night. Who would have thought I’d have gone from ‘allergy girl’ to an award-winning business owner running an award-winning business! I’m so grateful.
“It has certainly been challenging over the last two years however to be recognised in this way feels incredible. I couldn’t do this without my incredible team and I am so proud of them all. Thank you to the judges for recognising our achievements.”
Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner and entertainment before the awards presentation by news anchor and the first ever winner of Strictly Come Dancing, Natasha Kaplinsky.
Fiona Graves, events director at Platinum Media Group and organiser of the awards, said: “The gala dinner is the night of the year where the community comes together to celebrate business in Surrey. It is a fantastic evening recognising and acknowledging the outstanding work businesses in our region are doing.”
This year saw a record-breaking number of nominations for each category, with hundreds of applicants whittled down to just 60 finalists.
The judging panel was made up of representatives from NatWest, Mazars, Partridge Muir & Warren, projectfive, RSM, Surrey Business School, Surrey County Council, Surrey Research Park, Verlingue Ltd, BNI Surrey, Greatest Hits Radio Surrey & Hampshire, Hilton Woking, Surrey Chambers of Commerce, Sandown of Mercedes-Benz, Surrey Business Magazine and Charles Russell Speechlys.
It was almost ten years ago that Julianne, now 32 started making her own healthy snacks out of frustration at the lack of nut-free products in the market that weren’t packed with additives. She used superfood ingredients to improve the nutrient value and used her fiance, Matt as a guinea-pig to get the flavours right. Julianne has life-threatening allergies and her business was built to cater for those like her.
With her team, Julianne has taken her life experience to create products which work for people living with allergies and intolerance. However, the products are popular across the board, as they are also vegan-friendly and lower in sugar.
Creative Nature offers bars, baking mixes, sweet treats and superfoods, which are free from the top 14 allergens and are vegan friendly and nutritious. Creative Nature products can now be found in supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Co-op and Ocado; High Street retailers like TK Maxx; online at The Vegan Store, Mighty Small and Holland & Barrett as well as overseas across Europe, the Middle East and Far East. For more information, visit: https://creativenaturesuperfoods.co.uk.