Jim Kouzoukas: Business Person of the Year at Bayside Local Business Awards

Business Person of the Year

Jim Kouzoukas, a Greek Australian and owner of Jeff Mills Auto Electrics and Mechanical, achieved a major win at the Bayside Local Business Awards in Sydney, securing the Business Person of the Year title.

Born to Bake Greek, a Greek-run establishment, claimed the Business of the Year award.

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Born to Bake Greek, a Greek-run establishment, claimed the Business of the Year award.

These awards are decided by local residents in the Bayside and St George regions and are celebrated at a dedicated awards ceremony.

Kouzoukas, who has been operating in an area that has experienced substantial growth over the last two decades, expressed the significance of his customers' support, saying, "Being in an area that’s grown over the last 20 years, there’s a lot of competition, and you have to lift your game." He added, "In business, customers always come first, so it’s massive. I had no words to describe how it felt."

Kouzoukas, who hails from the island of Kos, shared his delight in welcoming members of the Greek diaspora to his shop, saying, "We get a lot of Greeks in the area, but it’s sad that a lot of them over the years have passed on because they’re older Greeks – either not driving anymore or passed on, but now you’re getting the generation of their children."

He also revealed that he previously received an award in the automotive category at the St George Local Business Awards earlier this year and another in 2018.

The shop, located in Banksia, has been serving the community since the 1940s under various owners, beginning with Jeff Mills.

Kouzoukas initially started working at the shop in 1989 as a first-year apprentice under then-owner and fellow Greek Harry Barberakis. Upon completing his apprenticeship, Kouzoukas faced a significant decision when Harry offered him the opportunity to purchase the business.

Taking a risk, Kouzoukas bought the business in 1995, despite having recently spent a substantial amount on his wedding. He noted, "I was nervous, unsure if I could succeed, but I just bit the bullet and went for it."

Since then, Kouzoukas has expanded the shop's services from auto electrics to a broader range of mechanical services, even obtaining certification as a mechanic through TAFE.

As part of his business expansion, Kouzoukas recognized the importance of an online presence and commended his friend Mari Hatzistergos, who manages the company's social media and deals with award nominations.

Born to Bake was also celebrated for its accomplishments at the awards a proud achievement of Dora, Angelo & the Born to Bake team

Other noteworthy Greek-led businesses honoured during the awards ceremony included:

  • Nieos Grille Express – Fast Food/Takeaway
  • Creativity By Geena – Hairdresser
  • The Music Space – Education Service
  • MGM Martin – Real Estate Agency
  • Costi Seafood – Fresh Food
  • Selene Atelier – Christening ✟ Couture Christening Gowns & Accessories
  • That Place – Cafe That Place has been honoured with the Most Outstanding Cafe Award by Local Business Awards for the second year in a row.
That Place
Jim Kouzoukas: Business Person of the Year at Bayside Local Business Awards 1

That Place has been honoured with the Most Outstanding Cafe Award by the Local Business Awards for the second year in a row!

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