TWO local businesses have come out on top at this year's Sunshine Coast Business Awards.
Maple Street Co-Operative took out the Retail Large Business Award and The Long Apron's head chef Cameron Matthews at Spicer's Clovelly Estate was honoured with the title of Outstanding Employee of the Year.
Maple Street Co-Operative general manager Karen Syrmis said the win was a huge surprise.
"We weren't expecting it at all," Ms Syrmis said.
"Winning the award is great recognition for the staff and the Co-Op - we have been here a long time and work hard."
Maple Street Co-Op was established in 1979 to provide the community with healthy and environmentally sustainable alternatives for food and personal needs.
The win topped off an exciting 12 months for the co-op, which gave back $137,000 to local farmers and $69,000 to members through the membership discount program.
But the secret to success for the co-op is simple.
"Our members, staff members and farmers are our secret," Ms Syrmis said.
"Our goal is to improve on what we do, support local farmers and look after our kids."
Talented chef Cameron Matthews has been with The Long Apron for just over three years and said he treats the business like his own.
"If you work anywhere treat it like you own and only make decisions that you would make if it was your own business," Mr Matthews said.
It is this passion for his work that sets Mr Matthews apart.
"I love being able to give people an experience they will remember," he said.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the efforts of the winning business people were something to celebrate.
"I was most impressed by the quality of this year's entries," Mr Jamieson said.
"I look forward to seeing your names in the winning circle next year."
Maple Street Co-Operative, Maleny
Category: Retail/Specialist Services/Home Based Vendors Large Business Award 2012
Cameron Matthews, Spicers Clovelly Estate, Montville
Category: Outstanding Employee of the Year 2012
Hahn Environmental Services, Narangba (formerly Beerwah)
Hall of Fame: 2007 - Environmental Innovation Award (Oz Future Fuels); 2010 - Environmental Industries (Oz Future Fuels); 2011 - Enterprise of the Year; 2011 - Innovation