PHILLIP Di Bella (pictured) is the 2010 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
The Espresso Enterprises founder took out the coveted accolade in front of more than 100 young businesspeople at Moda Events' Portside Wharf.
In just eight years Di Bella has built one of the largest coffee manufacturing companies in Australia, selling the equivalent of 1.6 million cups of coffee per week.
The 35-year-old will also launch an instant espresso coffee brand called Torq, with the first client Apollo Motorhomes. Discussions with hotels and airlines are also in progress.
"I thought we might have had a shot at one of the top three awards, but I was truly excited and surprised at winning first place," says Di Bella.
"The most important thing I remember is that I'm not in the coffee business, I'm in the people business. When 'coffee' walks in the door to buy coffee, that's when I'm in the coffee business."
The Highly Commended award went to Scott Geiszler and Anthony Russo of Pizza Capers.
Pizza Capers recently enlisted its 100th franchisee to sell its gourmet pizzas and is only four outlets away from having more stores in the city than Dominos.
"Pizza Capers has had ambitious expansion into attractive yet unfamiliar and challenging markets and they give to the community through the size of employment created," says UQ professor and young entrepreneur judge Dr Lance Newey.
Stream Group founder Don McKenzie took out the newly introduced Trailblazer award in recognition of the huge growth and opportunity created through his insurance company.
McKenzie, 27, founded Stream Group in 2007, but last year recorded 313 per cent growth and $31 million in revenue.
Now in its second year, the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards is an initiative of Brisbane Business News and coincides with the publication's special annual Young Entrepreneur edition.
For a full profile list on Brisbane's 2010 Young Entrepreneurs, including interviews with all of the finalists, get a copy of the special annual edition of Brisbane Business News out now in more than 500 greater Brisbane newsagents.
CLICK HERE to see pictures from the event
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