Revealed: Winners of the Cotswold Life Family Business Awards 2019

Cotswold Life Family Business Awards 2019

Cotswold Life Family Business Awards 2019 - Credit: Archant

In association with Hazlewoods Business Advisers and Chartered Accountants, we are delighted to announce our 2019 Family Business Awards winners.

The Marlborough Bike Company

The Marlborough Bike Company - Credit: Archant

Now in their seventh year, entries were received from across Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire and we are delighted to be able to champion the successes of these businesses. From new businesses who are excelling to individuals who go the extra mile.

What is a family business?

A family business is a business actively owned and/or managed or worked in full time by more than one member of the same family. Such family businesses range from huge corporations to local 'mom and pop' retail stores, the family farm or other commercial business. As a family business passes from one generation to the next, children will learn the job from at an early age. In any other sector this could be seen as child labour, but in a family business is more often referred to as 'helping mum and dad' and the children enjoy being involved and learn valuable skills directly related to the family business at a much younger age.

Our judges:

- Matthew Clayton, Willans LLP

- Katie Tait, Cotswold Life

Holly Smith, DC Edginton and Sons

Holly Smith, DC Edginton and Sons - Credit: Archant

- Sarah Bryars, Target Group

- Felicity Sang, Hazlewoods

A huge thank you to our judges and our sponsor, Hazlewoods.


Milkbeef - Credit: Archant

Best Start-Up Family Business

The Marlborough Bike Company, Marlborough

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The Marlborough Bike Company is an independent bike shop that opened its doors for the first time in February 2018. By providing top quality products and services the business has gone from strength to strength and aims to become the hub for cycling activity in Marlborough and the surrounding areas. This summer has seen the second year of the Marlborough Summer Cyclocross races that the shop has introduced to the town.

Barrington Ayre, shirtmaker and tailor

Barrington Ayre, shirtmaker and tailor - Credit: Archant

Family Business Apprentice

Holly Smith, D C Edginton and Sons, Studley

DC Edginton and Sons has been at the forefront of quality used cars in Studley & Redditch since 1985.

Holly has chosen a predominately male dominated profession and has adapted to the workshop environment. She demonstrates the n¬ecessary skills of a hard working and enthusiastic member of the team.

Holly has taken to working on vehicles like a duck to water. She is confident and relishes most tasks and is willing to try anything once. She also really enjoys talking to our customers, whether on the phone or face to face. A lot of customers have commented that having a female makes for a refreshing change! She also has learned to make a mean cup of coffee!

Alex Arkell, Arkell's

Alex Arkell, Arkell's - Credit: Archant

Food & Farming Excellence

MilkBeef, Banbury

JB Stevens & Son is the small family farm-business which produces MilkBeef. MilkBeef is a unique, healthy, sustainable, quality meat that is completely seasonal, travels less than 20 food miles and is 100% antibiotic-free, MilkBeef is sold direct from the farm at and in artisanal butchers across the Cotwsolds in October and November. Emma and Stuart Watson have farmed at Manor Farm, Adderbury for the past 12 years. The farm itself has been in Emma's family since the 1930s.


NSFG Ltd - Credit: Archant

Retail Excellence Award

Barrington Ayre Shirtmaker & Tailor, Cirencester

Barrington Ayre Shirtmaker & Tailor is a luxury bespoke and made to order clothing company making everything from classic suits to dressing gowns, from bespoke shirts to leather jackets and from traditional country wear to bespoke jeans. Their Luxury Lifestyle Hub in the middle of Cirencester is a new retail concept that allows people to relax with a coffee or a drink from the Whisky & Gin bar, and learn about the joy of bespoke tailoring and a luxury lifestyle.

Carly Allen, The Early Years Nursery

Carly Allen, The Early Years Nursery - Credit: Archant

Next Generation Family Achiever

Alex Arkell, Arkell's, Swindon

Sixth generation to his family business, Arkell's, Alex became head brewer in 2012 and has brought the company from strength to strength bringing Arkell's beer in line with a fresh, new direction reflecting the resurgence of real ale and craft brewing which coincidently, has broadened the customer base.

Arkell's celebrated 175 years last year and is just one of 29 family breweries left in the UK along with being Swindon's oldest business. It has nearly 100 pubs across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire.

Lechlade Festival (c) Deb Coleman /

Lechlade Festival (c) Deb Coleman / - Credit: Archant

Fastest Growing Family Business

FSG Ltd, Cheltenham

Father-son duo, NFSG Ltd, started in Cheltenham in 2015 selling, marketing and manufacturing a soft drink (Overhang) which is a natural "pick-me-up" based on a century-old family recipe from Genoa in northern Italy. The business has made significant strides since launching with listings now in Holland & Barrett, Tesco, Asda, Morrison's, Sainsbury's, WHSmith, Amazon UK, and are just about to launch in the USA and the UAE following a major international trade deal - rare for a single flavour/product company.

Robert Welch

Robert Welch - Credit: Archant

Employee of the Year

Carly Allen, The Early Years Nursery, Kidlington

The Early Years Nursery is a day nursery offering a therapeutic childcare service that builds life long skills in self regulation metacognition and executive functioning.

The children took to Carly straight away and warmed to her quiet nature allowing them to shine in her presence. Carly has embraced the cutting edge neuroscience-based philosophy of nurturing future minds with ease.

Severn & Wye Smokery

Severn & Wye Smokery - Credit: Archant

Outstanding contribution to the local or national economy

Lechlade Festival, Lechlade

Lechlade Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2020 and is highly regarded as a 'must do' event in the festival calendar. With an influx of around 7000 festival goers over the late May bank holiday weekend, the event brings significant benefit to the economy of Lechlade and surrounding areas.

Carefully selected traders and caterers complement the festival experience and where possible, local traders are given priority and local charities are offered free or discounted rates. Festival-goers residing in Lechlade and nearby postcodes benefit from significant saving on tickets, whilst children 16 and under attend for free, enabling a true family experience.

Family Business of the Year

Robert Welch, Chipping Campden

2019 will see the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Robert Welch Studio Shop.

Founded in 1955 by Robert Welch, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, and today jointly managed by his children, Alice and Rupert, Robert Welch Designs supply the world's foremost retailers, hotels, restaurants and airlines, often with bespoke ranges of the finest 18/10 stainless steel cutlery, chef's knives, barware, tea, coffee and bathroom ranges. Today's Robert Welch team are fortunate enough to still be working in the same building where it all began 60 years ago. Robert Welch's passion to create beautiful, functional, timeless products remains rooted in the company's design DNA, ensuring his memory lives on and that every new product continues to be 'Designed the Robert Welch way'.

Panel's Choice Award

Severn & Wye Smokery, Westbury-on-Severn

Severn and Wye Smokery was established in 1989 by Richard Cook, built off the back of a world famous historic Gloucestershire Fishery. Severn & Wye embraces past traditions of curing and smoking, and has an unrivalled reputation in the industry. Customers not only include some of the country's top chefs, food halls and events - including The Ritz, Claridges, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Wimbledon, Royal Ascot, Cheltenham Gold Cup Races - but also loyal customers across the world in the Middle East, USA, Far East, EU and Asia.

Richard and his wife Shirley have worked tirelessly to innovate and expand their business and recent projects include The Barn at Severn and Wye, which boasts a fine dining restaurant, fish market, food hall and café. Richard and Shirley - along with the entire Severn & Wye family - maintain their passion towards the environment. This is clearly demonstrated with their commitment to green technologies which are second to none.

This strong environmental ethic is led by their own 'Eels in Schools' project, which has been running now for 10 years. This project educates British children about their local environment, whilst restocking British fish back to British waters.

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