[O]n Thursday night a record six Cumbrian family businesses picked up prestigious national awards in London at the glittering ceremony for the national Family Business of the Year Awards 2018.
The coveted gongs were awarded to:
The North & Northern Ireland People’s Choice Family Business of the Year – herdy
Property & Construction Family Business of the Year – Roland Hill
Transport & Logistics Family Business of the Year – Stalkers Transport
The North & Northern Ireland Family Business of the Year – Pioneer
One To Watch Family Business of the Year – Bath House
Special Award for Entrepreneurship – Grasmere Gingerbread
“We were so shocked when our name was read out,” said Joanne Hunter who, along with husband Andrew, own and manage the historic attraction.
Invented in 1854 by humble Victorian cook Sarah Nelson, Grasmere Gingerbread® is now feted by celebrity chefs, showbusiness stars, royalty and it is exported globally.
Paul Andrews, Managing Director of Family Business United, said Grasmere Gingerbread® “continued to push the boundaries” by sending products all over the world.
“Its small team – family and non-family – come together with shared values and a focus on the future, opening up new opportunities too.
“Grasmere Gingerbread® itself is a great product and the business has drive, determination and a long-term approach.
“Hopefully, this will ensure that Grasmere Gingerbread® is enjoyed for generations to come.”
Cumbria had an incredible sixteen family business finalists and picked up more awards than any other county.
The success is thanks in part to the Cumbria Family Business Awards which fed into these national finals.
Co-founders of the Cumbria Family Business Awards, Sue Howorth of The Family Business Network Ltd and Sophia Newton one half of PR and Events company Flock attended to support the Cumbrian contingency.
Sue Howorth who also judges the national awards said “We were over the moon to see so many Cumbrian winners last night. To compete at this national level is already an amazing achievement and to win against the best family businesses in the country is truly astonishing. Our Cumbrian awards achieved their goal of putting Cumbrian family businesses on a national stage, the businesses went one step better by winning! The quality of our family businesses really shone last night and all the finalists should be extremely proud.
Sophia Newton added “Cumbria certainly made its mark on Friday and was applauded as a region that celebrates its family businesses and recognises the contribution they make. I was totally bowled over and Janett was loving keeping up with it all on social media whilst on her holidays, it was an exciting night. Ultimately, Cumbria is bringing home six pieces of silverware from London and that is an amazing accolade not just for the individual businesses but for the region too. Nice one Cumbria!”
Karen Stalker of Stalker’s Transport who are celebrating fifty years in business described it as “the perfect candle for the birthday cake.” Spencer and Diane Hannah are the husband and wife co-founders of herdy who were also shortlisted for a lifetime achievement award spoke about how winning the North & Northern Ireland People’s Choice award made them feel.
Diane said: “We were delighted and very surprised, this award is chosen by the public so it means a lot that our customers got behind us in this way. We’d like to thank everyone who supported and voted for us and of course all our brilliant herdy team who help us keep spreading smiles and happiness.”
The next Cumbria Family Business Awards take place on Friday 9th March 2019 and will be open for applications from Thursday 11th October when they are officially launched at The Family Business Conference 2018. The organisers have confirmed the relationship with the national Family Business of the Year awards will continue. www.cumbriafamilybusinessawards.uk