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Bournemouth firms grabs success in regional small business awards

Two businesses from Bournemouth were crowned as among the ‘best in the West’ at the FSB ‘Celebrating Small Business Awards 2018’ recently held in Taunton.

The South West finals of the national FSB contest were held at Somerset County Cricket Ground and were designed to find the best small businesses across the whole of the South West and among the winners were Ascesis Media, who won the Scale Up Business Of The Year award, and Mr Lee’s Pure Foods who scooped the South West Community Award. The event also saw Highly Commended awards go to fellow Bournemouth small businesses Ratio and The Green House Hotel.

Joe Allen from marketing company Ascesis Media, said they were delighted to win. “It is unbelievable – we are shocked and amazed.  I am so proud of the team and this will mean everything to them as they can see the hard work they have put in is worth it”.  

And Damien Lee, from gourmet instant-noodle firm Mr Lee’s Pure Food, was equally thrilled to be among the winners having been nominated in three categories on a day where his company was very much in the limelight. “What this means to the team and myself is that people really appreciate what we are doing. The team are really passionate and this award will mean a lot to them. It feels amazing to have won. “


Award winning Bournemouth based business Ascesis, in their own words...

“Ascesis is a full-service marketing house who are passionate about working with ambitious and evolving brands. Taking communications challenges and turning them into results that meet our clients’ goals is in our DNA. We do this by really getting to know their business inside out. To us, full service means never outsourcing, so everything we produce is done in-house and tailored to our clients. 

We see our clients as partners. Unlike large agencies, we keep our client list limited. This means we can be more dedicated, more passionate and really get to know our partners to build lasting relationships and become trusted associates. We help them to become more market visible and digitally stand out in a connected world, by creating cutting-edge marketing solutions that get exceptional results.

It’s our vision to be a globally recognised, full-service house that create ground-breaking results. With our heritage in marketing and data, we don’t look at things from a ‘it looks cool’ perspective, but from a ‘will this work’ angle. It’s a way of working gives us intelligent results, ups our credibility and has seen us go from strength to strength. 

Since Joe Allen and Matthew Hughes set up Ascesis in 2013, we’ve exceeded more than 300% growth year on year. Fast forward to today and we continue to work with ambitious brands across the globe, making their lives easier and helping them to achieve their goals.”


Award winning Mr Lee’s Pure Food, in their own words...

Mr Lee’s Pure Foods are the “no worries, eat happy”, award-winning food and tech brand kicking up a stir in the convenience food and ready meals sector. Located on the sunny shores of Bournemouth, CEO Damien Lee and his team are disrupting the food industry by providing a healthier alternative to junk convenience products, starting by transforming the instant noodle market. Mr Lee’s Noodles are an extension of the team’s overall mission to help food consumers to eat smarter, without compromise on taste.

How? By using the latest technologies available, Mr Lee’s have created a diverse range of six noodle flavours, all of which certified gluten-free and are one of the lowest in category for salt, calories, sugar and saturated fats, with no MSG, artificial preservatives, flavourings or colourings. This is all made possible through the use of premium freeze-dried ingredients which, in sharp contrast to the rest of the industry’s use of dehydrated alternatives, retain a high percentage of the nutritional integrity and taste of the ingredient.

The business was started after Damien’s close call with late stage 4 cancer. With a two young children and a whole lot to live for, he managed to beat the illness through 16 rounds of chemotherapy and a strict raw-food diet. During this time he was unable to eat his one guilty pleasure: instant noodles, and so sought after researching the ever expanding market. During his research, Damien met two brothers who were responsible for a lot of the noodle market in Asia, upon seeing the extensive factories he asked one of the them “Which is your favourite flavour”, to which he replied: “No, we don’t eat the noodles, and you wouldn’t either if you knew what went into them!”

It was at this point Damien decided to create his very own noodle, but healthier. Since then the business have launched the brand worldwide, from the skies of Australasia with Jetstar Airlines, hotels in Scandinavia and Germany, to the railways of the UK across South Western Railway, East Midland Trains (soon to include TransPennine Express network) and coffee shops chains. 

But that wasn’t enough for Mr Lee’s.

With innovation being the driving force behind the business, Damien and his team carved their very own way to the market, providing product direct to consumers in the form of smart vending machines they call - ‘Noodle Kiosks’. Soon to be seen across the UK and Australia, Mr Lee’s Noodle Kiosks will vend healthier noodles across offices, hospitals, universities and defence forces bases. No worries, eat happy! More info