Pioneering Tasmanian malt whisky producer, Lark Distillery, has been named the 2014 Telstra Tasmanian Business of the Year.
Presented this week by the Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman, the award hands Lark Distillery the mantle from last year’s 2013 Telstra Business of the Year, Bruny Island Cheese Co., which won both the Tasmanian and national overall award.
Established by Bill and Lyn Lark in 1992, the Hobart distillery now employs 18 full-time staff. It has added vodka, gin, rum and liqueurs to its product line and recently acquired Overeem Whisky.
Founder Bill Lark said the company's success stems from starting small and thinking big. “Like many of Tasmania's other premium food and beverage businesses, our success stems from small-scale production of high quality, high-value products,” he said.
L-R: Telstra Business group managing director Will Irving, Lark Distillery CEO Troy Trewin, CEO and Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman MP
He said he had a vision for an industry, not just a business, and proudly supports local producers – promoting other whiskies and beverages at Lark’s cellar door and whisky bar, and mentoring start-up distilleries in Tasmania and on the mainland.
Will Irving, Telstra Business group managing director and ambassador for the Telstra Australian Business Awards, said: “Lark Distillery has stretched itself internationally, achieving local and global notoriety, in the process becoming a significant ambassador of the industry – mentoring and leading from behind.”
“The Telstra Awards Judges commended the business’ exceptional financial and business process structure and awarded a perfect score for outstanding vertical integration of its manufacturing, wholesale and export, retail and tourism pillars.”
Other winners of the Telstra Tasmanian Business Awards included rehabilitation and fitness start-up, Your Path to Health, and creative agency Handbuilt Creative, whose owner David Shering has developed two software systems to streamline complex and inexpensive website creation.
Long standing family-owned quarrying business, Stornoway, won both the Medium Business Award and the Regional Award.