THE great and good of the Otley Business community gathered on Friday night to celebrate the historic market town’s annual business awards.

The ceremony and awards, organised by Otley Chamber of Trade, returned this year after a pandemic-induced hiatus, and saw finalists and other stakeholders in the town gather at Otley Parish Church to celebrate the winners in a glittering awards ceremony.

Following a drinks reception and an Indian buffet provided by the town’s Red Pepper restaurant, key note speaker Stephanie Moon took to the stage where the Yorkshire-born chef consultant and star of TV’s Great British Menu, wowed the crowd with tales from her career working at prestigious restaurants such as London’s Dorchester, Harrogate’s Rudding Park and Munich’s Hotel Four Seasons.

Highlights included Stephanie recalling her time working in Australia at Sydney’s Park Hyatt Hotel and preparing food for celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand and Rod Stewart.

Stephanie’s presentation was followed by a speech from Otley Chamber of Trade president Simon Raybould who emphasised the community spirit seen in the Otley business community during the coronavirus crisis and outlined a shining vision for the future of businesses in Otley.

Formalities complete, Stephanie returned to the stage to present the awards alongside Katie Burnett, chair of Otley Business Improvement District and ceremony host.

In a night full of winners, Buon Apps River Lounge & Italian Restaurant, picked up two awards in the Best Eatery and Community categories. The restaurant overlooking the River Wharfe was praised by the awards’ mystery shopper for “its lovely and welcoming staff, great food and atmosphere, and a setting that is better than imagined”. The Italian eatery was also selected for the Community Award after raising more than £2000 for the Otley Food Bank charity.

Other notable winners in the ceremony included new Boroughgate house plant emporium Plants Dot Com, praised by mystery shoppers for its “good range of plants and gifts and very knowledgeable staff”, while The Orchard Florist picked up the award for ‘best kerb appeal’ thanks to the intricate window displays created by the shop’s owner Alishia Easthope.

The award for Best Service Sector (Business to Customer) went to Landguard Pest Control, while in the same category, Joey Sports Massage Therapy picked up the gong in the Health and Beauty Sector.

Good Service awards went to long-standing Otley Pharmacy (retail sector) and Arundel Travel (service sector), while pet shop Petwise took the title of Best Retail business.

Awards also went to The Old Cock (Best Pub/Bar) and paper and stationery maker Sinclairs (Environmental), while Theo Rhodes of financial advisors Christopher Little & Co and Millie Maclean of The Beauty Box shared the award for Best Apprentice.

The ceremony was rounded off with an Outstanding Contribution to the Business Community award for Thomas Hatley, also of Christopher Little & Co. Thomas has been a unique driving force in the Otley business community for more than 12 years, a time in which he not only served as President of Otley Chamber of Trade and Chair of Otley BID, but also devised the very first Otley Business Awards eight years ago.

President of Otley Chamber of Trade Simon Raybould said: “A huge congratulations goes out to all the nominees and winners and, of course, to Tom for his Lifetime Achievement award. The last few years have been a challenge for retail and service sector businesses around the country, but in Otley we have seen many businesses take on that challenge and actually thrive. The community spirit seen at both the ceremony itself but also over the last two years gives me confidence that business in Otley will continue to buck national trends and keep growing.”

Chair of Otley BID and lead ceremony organiser Katie Burnett said: “In a year where we have all faced huge challenges, we received nominations for more than 100 Otley businesses. Given these nominations come from the public themselves, it shows just how much the people of Otley love and respect the businesses that serve them. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners.”

Now in its eighth year, the Otley Business Awards see businesses nominated by members of the public. All nominated businesses are then assessed by a panel of mystery shoppers, none of whom come from Otley or are part of the Otley business community. 

2022 OBA Winners in full

Best Eatery Award

Buon Apps River Lounge & Italian Restaurant

Community Award

Buon Apps River Lounge & Italian Restaurant

Best Apprentice/Trainee (joint award)

Theo Rhodes - Christopher Little & Co

Millie Maclean - The Beauty Box

Best Newcomer Award

Plants Dot Com

Best Kerb Appeal Award

The Orchard Florist

Best Service Sector Award – Business to Customer

Landguard Pest Control

Best Service Sector Award – Health & Beauty

Joey Sports Massage Therapy

Good Service Award – Retail Sector

Otley Pharmacy

Good Service Award – Service Sector

Arundel Travel

Best Pub/Bar Award

The Old Cock

Best Retail Award


Environmental Award


Outstanding Contribution to Otley Business

Thomas Hatley