2019 Business of the Year won by SOLE THERAPY Ramsgate Beach

You could confidently say that Sole Therapy started out on the right foot more than a decade ago when the first steps were taken to launch a community business at Ramsgate Beach.

Come 2019, the company, six people in total, has taken a huge leap forward.

On May 8 SOLE THERAPY went toe-to-toe with other finalists in the St George Business Awards 2019, and they took out top gong, Business of the Year.

They also scored another win, nabbing the Outstanding Health Improvement Services award.

Sharkes Leagues Club was the venue for the major annual business awards this year. The night was a hit, with 2016 winner of The Voice Australia winner Alfi Arcuri performing.

SOLE THERAPY founder Nicole Reilly says everyone is excited and proud of what they have achieved.

"This is a massive surprise - the biggest one yet," Mrs Reilly said.

"When we enter the awards, we are inspired to be better every year. We've been coming up runner-up in the past couple of years in the business division, so it's nice to take home a win."

She credits her team for being the backbone of the business.

"We couldn't have made it without the support of our beautiful clients and our great team," she said.

"I couldn't do it on my own. I was a solo practioner before but I'm so proud of my young team. They are ethical and hard-working and they've restored my faith in the next generation. My beautiful wife, our practice manager, is the glue who holds us together."

The family run clinic has called its original site home for more than 10 years.

Mrs Reilly established the business in 2008, and has a passion for alternative therapies, working closely with academics at Western Sydney University. She mentors podiatry graduates and gives lectures across Australia.

This year she was also nominated for Business Person of the Year.

From an initial interest in sports medicine, Mrs Reilly landed into podiatry by chance.

"It was a fluke career, but I fell in love with how foot posture influences the whole body," she said.

"I had a strong interest in traditional Chinese medicine. I was on a bit of a mission coming out into a male-dominated field of biomechanics."

Her team of podiatrists see people of all ages and from all walks of life, from toddlers taking their first steps, to young active children and teenagers, busy parents, weekend warriors and travelling retirees.

The clinic's youngest patient is eight months of age and it's oldest, 103.

From general treatment and biomechanical assessment, to custom-made orthotics, foot mobilisation, dry needling and nail surgery, the approach is wholistic.

Having the latest technology is a must, and staff experts test all the equipment to help treat patients without the need for invasive intervention such as surgery.

"We pride ourselves on our paediatric knowledge," Mrs Reilly said.

"It's rewarding to hear kids saying they ran their first race, or they're no longer bullied about how they walk at school.

"With our older clients, it's about trying to keep them living independently and fit and active.

"A large patient load is also mums returning to exercise after having babies, doing core strengthening.

"It's all to prevent people going down the cortison or surgery path. People may see us more regularly but it's about getting maximum benefit."

WINNERS

  • Sydney Collision Repairs, Rockdale - Automotive services
  • Hummingbird Lane Patisserie, Oatley - Bakery/cake shop
  • Laser Logic Clinic, Kingsgrove - Beauty services
  • Edmonds and Greer, Oatley - Cafe
  • All Starz Performing Arts Studio, Peakhurst - Dance studio
  • Lugarno Gourmet Deli - Delicatessen/Gourmet food
  • Bridge St Kids Early Learning Centres, Hurstville - Early childhood centre
  • Power Up Your Marketing, Lugarno - Education service
  • Supreme Gourmet Pizza Bar, Kogarah - Fast food/takeaway
  • Fernwood Women's Health Club, Beverly Hills - Fitness services
  • Lady Gnarbo, Kogarah - Florist
  • All Seasons Fruit Market, Bexley - Fruit & vegetables shop
  • Chrystalla Hair, Penshurst - Hairdresser
  • Lilliput Corner, Brighton-Le-Sands - Most inclusive employer
  • Barber X Men's Salon, Ramsgate - New business
  • Beverly Hills Animal Hospital - Pet care
  • TerryWhite Chemmart, Kogarah - Pharmacy
  • Jumbuck Meats Gourmet Butchery, Oatley - Poultry/fish/meat
  • So Social, Bexley - Professional services
  • Ray White Brighton-Le-Sands - Real estate agency
  • Bitton Oatley Cafe & Bistro - Restaurant - Family
  • Lugarno Seafood Restaurant - Restaurant - Fine dining
  • Star Ceramics Australia, Hurstville Grove - Service & trade
  • LOOKUP, Rockdale - Specialised business
  • Studio Onethirty, Carss Park - Specialised retail business
  • Natasha Gonzalez, 1K Words, Penshurst - Business Person of the Year
  • Erin Criticos, Moving Mountains Therapy, Ramsgate Beach - Youth Award

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