KATIE BULMER-COOKE: Shout about your business

The Point is hosting the Amazing Wearside awards
The Point is hosting the Amazing Wearside awards
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This week I went to one of my favourite restaurants in the city, Asiana, and I had to give them a mention because you just can’t beat them on brilliant service and consistency.

Every time we’ve been, not only is the food gorgeous, the service is always outstanding and it’s a great experience in every way, from start to finish.

Over the years and even recently too, I’ve heard lots of people say that if they want to go on a great night out, whether it be for drinks or food, they always head outside of Sunderland and instead opt for Newcastle, saying how much better it is.

That’s crazy to me. Yes, Newcastle has some lovely eateries and bars, but so does Sunderland. Asiana for example is lush, as are so many of the restaurants in our city.

Some of the best places to eat in the North East are right here under our noses, so less the jumping on the Metro and instead try Sunderland first, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed, especially with the likes of Asiana right on our doorstop.

This week it was announced that I’ll be on the judging panel for the Amazing Wearside awards held in September at The Point.

The awards are a great opportunity to celebrate all that is amazing about the businesses and people of Sunderland.

Alongside me on the panel will be Ken Dunbar from Sunderland BID, Sandy Cowell, from the Sunderland Business Network, Gavin Brown from Konect Group and Julian Carter from Sun FM... with a Mr. Cowell on the panel, I wonder if that makes me Sharon Osbourne? (I’ll let the others fight it out for who will be Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh).

As a judge I’ll be looking for people and businesses who have dared to be different, not be afraid to stand out and do the opposite to the competition, and who, most importantly have helped put Sunderland on the map.

There are a lot of fantastic people doing really good things in Sunderland, both in business and for the community, and I’d urge everyone who either knows someone who has or feels they have themselves to enter and gain the recognition they deserve.

Times are changing, and just because you don’t have a visible presence in the city doesn’t mean you don’t have a brilliant Sunderland business.

You don’t have to have a unit, a shop, a bar or premises. You could have an online business, a home office or even a hidden little warehouse.

Technology now means that you can grow an international business simply by having a laptop and a wifi connection. So if this is you, then put yourself out there, go up against the big boys, shout about the awesome things you are doing and be proud of it.

I used to think that because my office was in my house and because I didn’t have a premises and some big signage outside that my business wasn’t as big of a concern as others, but that’s simply not the case.

I sell my fitness products and services internationally, all from my little home office Sunderland. So don’t be shy, let’s hear from the next wave of businesses in the city and celebrate their successes.