May 8, 2018
Proston business couple Nick and Anita Blanch didn’t take home a major prize from the 2018 WFI Insurance Small Business Achiever Awards on Friday night, but they’re not unhappy.
They were one of the top four finalists, and say they will hang their award on the walls of their businesses with pride.
This year’s awards dinner was held at the Royal on the Park Hotel in Brisbane and was attended by about 350 people.
Nick and Anita were nominated for the awards by Cr Ros Heit for creating Proston’s NB Inspirations department store and the Jacaranda Tearooms.
“When we were made it to the semi-finals we were really surprised,” Anita said.
“But when we found out in March we’d made it as one of Queensland’s top 10 finalists, we were amazed.”
The young couple said they started the two businesses to revive Proston’s town centre and bring new social amenities to the area, as well as create jobs for young people.
What makes their accomplishment even more remarkable is that until recently, Nick and Anita did this while they were both holding down full-time jobs themselves.
Anita has since resigned from her former position to devote all her attention to the businesses’ day-to-day operations, but Nick still works elsewhere during the week.
The two stores offer part-time employment for several young Prostonites, and both the store and cafe have won many fans for their attention to the traditional retail values of quality, range and service.
The businesses also play an active role in the town’s community life.
Jacaranda Tearooms are the major sponsors of the monthly Proston Post community newsletter, and both businesses also helped sponsor this year’s Miss Proston Showgirl competition.
“We are very grateful to have had the support of Cr Ros Heit, whose belief in us made this entire journey possible,” Nick said.
“It’s been our pleasure to take Proston to a forum attended by State Members of Parliament, and representatives from many national institutions.”