If we don’t try, we don’t know what we can achieve
Suffolk-based cider and vinegar maker Aspall has claimed top honours at the 2014 East Anglian Daily Times Business Awards.
The company, based at Aspall, near Debenham, and run by the eighth generation of the family of Clement Chavallier, who founded the business in 1728, first won the Family Business category, sponsored by Birketts, and then went on to receive the overall Business of the Year award – jointly sponsored by EDF Energy and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce – the recipient of which is selected from among all the category winners.
The awards, now in their 17th year and being supported by EDF Energy and Suffolk Chamber as joint main sponsors for the third year running, were presented during a black tie dinner event held at Trinity Park, Ipswich, the home of the Suffolk Show.
A special award for Outstanding Achievement – sponsored by University Campus Suffolk – which was not open to direct entries but made at the judges’ discretion, went to the Suffolk Show, in recognition of its long record of showcasing the county.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Terry Baxter, chief executive of the education support charity Inspire Suffolk − for which a fund-raising prize draw was held during the evening − and featured a key note address by motivational speaker Mandy Hickson, who was one of the first female RAF pilots to serve in a front line Tornado squadron, and who summed up her message as “If we don’t try, we don’t know what we can achieve”.
A broad mix of award categories ensured recognition for businesses of all types and sizes. The Medium/Large Business of the Year award, sponsored by Larking Gowen, went to Ipswich-based Sanctuary Personnel while the Small Business of the Year title, sponsored by Picasso HR, was won by North Hill Dental, based in Colchester.
The Community Involvement award, sponsored by Adnams, was won by the Ipswich office of financial services friendly society LV=, the Community Safety and Crime Prevention award, sponsored by the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, went to Ipswich-based charity Lighthouse Women’s Aid and the Health and Wellbeing at Work award, sponsored by Healthy Ambitions, was won by the PPG Industries (UK) plant in Stowmarket.
Rade Digital, from Hinton, near Saxmundham, was the winner in the Business Broadband category, sponsored by Suffolk County Council, while OXEMS, based at Adastral Park, Martlesham, near Ipswich, won the Future50 One to Watch award, sponsored by NWES, which also supports the EADT’s Future50 listing of high growth potential firms in Suffolk.
East of England Co-operative Society, which operates across Norfolk, Suffolk and north Essex, received the Food and Farming Excellence award, sponsored by Suffolk Agricultural Association, and the Environment and Sustainability award, sponsored by Anglian Water Business, was won by Copella Fruit Juices from Boxford, near Sudbury,
The Customer Care award, sponsored by Albellio Greater Anglia, went to the Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa in Newmarket and the Raising the Bar education award, jointly sponsored by Suffolk County Council and Norse, was won by Ipswich-based sixth form college One.
The evening also included two individual awards. The Director of the Year title, sponsored by Barclays, went to Andy Holdcroft, chief executive of Bury St Edmunds-based occupational health specialist RehabWorks.
And the Young Business Person category, jointly sponsored by Suffolk New College and West Suffolk College, was won by Jon Haynes of Firstfield Electrical, based at Badley, near Stowmarket.
Business Editor, EADT
"Congratulations to all our winners and finalists. This is the 17th year of the awards and, once again, the judges have been hugely impressed by both the quality and the diversity of the businesses taking part."Terry HuntEditor, East Anglian Daily Times