Written on the 27 October 2014 by Jenna Rathbone


DESPITE strong competition, Mass Nutrition founder Luke McNally has muscled his way to the top, taking out the seventh annual Business News Australia Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

The former body building champion was recognised for the significant mark he has had on the Gold Coast economy and his dedication and enthusiasm which has seen him form Australia’s destination for recognised and top brands within the health industry.

Established in 2007, the Mass Nutrition chain compromises 44 stores offering a range of vitamins, supplements and natural health products.

22 of those stores were added in the past year with McNally in discussions with a venture capitalist to expand offshore.

“Three years ago if someone had of said that I would have had five stores, I probably would have laughed and said they were dreaming,” says McNally, 29.

“I am surrounded by a really good group of people who have come on board and share my vision and I aim to go from fifty to 1,000 globally by the end of 2016.”

McNally says he was extremely flattered to have been nominated for the Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards and even more so to have been announced a finalist.

“It was inspiring to be in a room with so many people running some of the best Gold Coast based businesses, from small boutique local enterprises through to everyday ‘household name’ global giants,” says McNally.

“I would never have even put myself anywhere near the league of these men and women and to say I was in shock to be announced the winner would be a massive understatement.

“I cannot thank my surrounding crew enough or Business News Australia for putting together such a wonderful initiative and experience.”

McNally says he was the skinny kid in school weighing just 56 kilograms however he possessed a tenacious spirit to become a firefighter, despite the disbelief of others.

The banks also shared a disbelief in McNally’s Mass Nutrition vision and ‘laughed out loud’ at the former Mr Australia’s first bank pitch.

McNally now works as a firefighter while managing and growing the Mass Nutrition brand.

Managing director of Business News Australia, Camilla Jansen, says McNally’s commitment and dedication to reach his dreams is the reason he walked away with the top gong.

“The Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards is a special and unique evening celebrating young, home-grown talent and the top prize should be a goal for all upcoming business leaders,” says Jansen.

McNally accepted the award in front of 200 fellow business-minded men and women at Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino.  Collectively the finalists generated more than $210 million in combined annual revenue.

Another contributor to the voluminous Gold Coast entrepreneurial pool is Jellaine Ross whose business has bloomed over the past couple of years.

The founder of Cherry Blooms took out the Trailblazer award which recognises a company that has seen exponential growth in a short period of time.

Cherry Blooms was established in 2008 as a home office with a starting capital of $3,000.  Over the past year the company has achieved 500% revenue growth and Ross has seen her products included in the Golden Globe gift bags and Oscars gift bags.

Hosted by Rob Molhoek MP and Business News Australia’s Laura Daquino, the finalist categories included Digital and Technology; Health and Fitness; Manufacturing, Wholesale and Distribution; Professional Services; Property and Construction; Retail and Services; Tourism, Hospitality and Events and Innovation.

Category winners:

Health and Fitness – Luke McNally, founder of Mass Nutrition
Retail and Services – Stuart Stratton, founder of Con-X-ion Airport Transfers, Green Initiatives and Bsmart Group
Tourism, Hospitality and Events – Simon Gloftis, founder of The Fish House and Hellenika
Professional Services – Jürgen Himmelmann, The Global Work and Travel Co.
Property and Construction – Theo Vairaktaris and Dallas Heale, founders of Usher and Son and DT Visions
Manufacturing, Wholesale and Distribution – Mark Teis, founder of RetailOne Shopfitting
Digital and Technology – James Greig, founder of Bloomtools and iVvy
Innovation – Lee Fisher, founder of Efficiency Leaders

Business News Australia would like to recognise and thank the sponsors of the evening.  The event would not be possible without the support of Bond University, Telstra Business Centre Gold Coast, Jupiters Hotel and Casino, Robina Group and Blue Shadow Group.


Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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