Meet a past winner: Bernadette Eriksen
Bernadette Eriksen was able to harness her passion for improving the quality of life for those with a potentially deadly swallowing condition to build a $30 million business.
Flavour Creations is now a world leader in the production of food and drink thickeners for people with dysphagia and employs around 120 staff in Brisbane. In 2017 it launched its Dysphagia Cup, an innovation which allows customers to feed themselves independently. And in 2017, Ms Eriksen won the Queensland Urban Utilities Award for Product Innovation in the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards.
Dysphagia can be caused by neurological conditions including stroke, head and neck cancer, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. It can also be related to several other diseases, plus advanced age, and can strike otherwise healthy people.
“The LMBA has given me a strong platform to get the dysphagia message into the public arena…it deserves to be, as it impacts millions of Australian lives daily,” Ms Eriksen said.
Flavour Creations supplies hospitals, aged care facilities and direct to consumers nationally and internationally. The company works collaboratively with universities and healthcare organisations in medical research studies.
It’s been a journey that spans over two decades for Ms Eriksen.
“I knew there was potential in this market, and so I did months and months of research. In those days there was very little literature available, and the products on the market were horrible, mostly starch,” she said.
“I pulled together what I believed, and still do, is the best product on the market. Self-belief is important, as is building an understanding about your customers and products.
“I’m proud of the products we’ve created, and now I have a team who are passionate about what we do and keep raising the bar in this area.”
If, like Ms Eriksen, you are a passionate businessperson making a difference in your field, make 2018 your year to nominate for the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards and reap the benefits of this prestigious recognition.
Find out a little more about Ms Eriksen's story below.