FLBClub Business Awards 2020
The 13th annual FLBClub Business Awards, which was once again sponsored by the Lakes by yoo, turned out to be a very lucky event for some local businesses. As well as the presentations of the top Awards, guests at the prestigious dinner held at the end of January at Sudbury House Hotel in Faringdon also enjoyed entertainment on arrival by Delores Vintage Singer.
There were eye-catching statement floral arrangements by the Fairford Flower Collective providing an impressive centrepiece to the room with red, black and silver balloons supplied by Fabulous Partyware adorning the tables and the glittering stage. The centrepiece for each table was an incredible edible creation made by Award-winning cake-makers, Maxine and Georgia from The Coffee Post in Fairford.
Once again, businesses from all over the Cotswolds, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire competed to win one of the coveted awards at the Awards Dinner that was hosted by Gary Holland, former Mayor of Lechlade and Director of the Lechlade Music Festival. As well as the main Awards event of the evening, there was competition amongst the guests bidding for superb auction lots in the now famous Awards Auction conducted by Philip Allwood of Moore, Allen & Innocent and TV personality in Going for a Song; Flog It; Bargain Hunt; Dickinson’s Real Deal; Cash in the Attic; Beat the Dealer; Antiques Road Trip and many others.
Once the Auction was over, the evening began in earnest with the presentation of the Awards. The judges were extremely impressed by the quality of the entries, which showed passion and enthusiasm. The great range of businesses taking part made the judging process even more difficult in selecting both finalists and eventual winners.
Outstanding Business Student of the Year
Sponsored by: The RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises (Air Tattoo)
Presented by: Helen Webb
The judges were extremely impressed by all six entries from the Business Students at Farmor’s School. However, they were able to narrow it down to three Business Plans that particularly stood out as well as looking at the issue of sustainability in clothing and a photography business with a difference. The winning entry from Lilly was for a business called Pancake & Milkshake Magic – a mobile service visiting local villages to provide a sweet option. The concept, plan, supporting research and financials were all well thought out and comprehensive; and the judges felt that should she start up this business, it would be a real success and they would be first in the queue for a pancake and milkshake!
Business of the Year
Sponsored by: Andrew Garland Action Coach
Presented by: Andrew Garland
Business of the Year is the premier award and is open to any business that can demonstrate a successful track record of excellence and achievement. This year, there were 12 very strong entries for this award and all were outstanding businesses. But, we can have only one winner!
Fabulous Partyware, Lechlade
This really was a difficult decision. However, the judges were impressed by the journey of Hayley and Fabulous Partyware from a fledgling, part-time business run from home to a successful full-time online and retail business with a premises on Lechlade High Street and a team of five people, all in just five years. Not only is the business financially successful, it offers a level of customer experience that has been lost by many businesses and, when in a competitive market and the online world of Amazon, it is this that makes her business succeed and stand out from the crowd. Congratulations Hayley and team. You are the FLBClub Business of the Year!
Bulldog Websites, Fairford
Ripples Community Magazine for Fairford & Lechlade
Business Person of the Year
Sponsored by: Hersom Whittaker Ltd
Presented by: Simon Hersom
Business acumen should be recognised and encouraged and this award highlights the skills and ability of a business owner or employee.
Allison Murray of Allison Murray Design, Eastleach
The Judges felt that Allison epitomised what was great about both living and creating a successful business in this corner of the Cotswolds, bringing her extensive experience of working for top London design agencies to help local entrepreneurs create dynamic and meaningful brands. Many of those identities you see every day have been designed and implemented by Alison; Made By Bob, Thyme at Southrop, Butler Sherborn, Lynwood & Co and Fairford! Her business is all word of mouth recommendations and she also works to encourage young people into the industry through the school career circuit. The judges were extremely impressed with the scale of her business and Allison’s ethos.
Lizzie Skinner of Back to Bean, Quenington
Max Abbott of Sourdough Revolution, Lechlade
Mark Pargeter of Alexander George Fine Antiques Ltd
New Business of the Year
Sponsored by: McGills Chartered Accountants
Presented by: Sharla Dandy
This category is open to all new ventures started within the last 2 years with those entering showing how their business has progressed from an idea to a trading business.
Corky & Prince Wedding & Event Flowers, Kempsford
The winner demonstrated to the judges that there is still room for new businesses to be successful, even in a competitive market, if you do your research, have a solid idea and understanding of your customers. A clear vision, a beautiful product, executed well and doing that little bit extra collaborating with others as well as giving back to the community is why Corky & Prince Wedding Flowers were worthy winners.
Cotswold Virtual PA Services, Quenington
Jen Winnett Art, South Cerney
Most Innovative Business of the Year
Sponsored by: The Bull Hotel, Fairford
Presented by: Stephen Pitt
All businesses are innovative in some way, so entrants had to illustrate how they have managed successfully to introduce new ideas, products, customers, techniques or technology to help grow their business. This category was a very close run thing, so all the finalists should take comfort from that!
Sourdough Revolution, Lechlade
The judges were impressed with how innovative a business could be with just one simple product, ‘sourdough’. However, produced well and with care and passion, a very successful business could be developed. In the space of four years, Sourdough Revolution have a wholesale business, retail sourdough pizza outlet, expanded product range and employ 12 people. This is despite losing one of their biggest customers, just as they were about to expand. Sourdough Revolution was certainly a revelation to the judges.
Chute Design (Cirenterprise) of Cirencester
Fishing Ticket.com Ltd, Highworth
MT Recruitment, Bampton
The Bob Warren Hospitality Award
This award was set up in 2017 in memory of Bob Warren, former landlord of the Trout Inn, Lechlade, and long-time supporter of the FLBClub.
A massive 33 nominated venues were asked to encourage their customers, friends and family to vote for the hospitality venue (café, pub, restaurant, B&B or hotel etc) that best demonstrated the spirit of Bob Warren – offering great hospitality, excellent customer service, a warm and friendly atmosphere and provided a fantastic all round experience. All the votes have been counted and the top five venues are:
The Swan at Southrop
Cotswold Woollen Weavers, Filkins
The Bull Hotel, Fairford
The Crown, Lechlade
The Five Alls, Filkins
The Howard Dowler Award
Sponsored by: Fairford Roof Tiles
Presented by: Neil Dowler
In memory of Howard Dowler, one of the founding members of the Business Club, this is a special Award made by the Chair to the person or business that has made an outstanding contribution to the local community. Howard’s son, Neil, was attending to present the Award.
Ian Lindsay of Lechlade Marina
When Ian and Jules joined the Business Club two years ago, they were still in the process of buying Lechlade Marina and drove from Northampton to regularly attend meetings to get to know the local community. Since purchasing the Marina, Ian has transformed it from the previously unloved state to a going concern which offers a great place to moor a boat. I am sure he will say there is still a lot to do, but he has made a significant difference to those that moor their boats, many of whom live there.
He has not only brought a much-needed breath of fresh air to the Marina, but also to the community, joining the Steering Group for the Business Club, the River User Group for the Upper Thames and is current Secretary of that group as well as sitting on the Lechlade Town Council. In a short space of time, he has made a positive contribution to the local area and community. From a personal perspective, he offers valuable insights at our meetings and is also a thoroughly nice chap!
Headline sponors: The Lakes by yoo
Other sponsors: Andrew Garland Action Coach; Hersom Whittaker Limited; McGills Chartered Accountants; The Bull Hotel, Fairford, RAFCTE (Air Tattoo); Fairford Roof Tiles; ECI Telecom; The former Faringdon Chamber of Commerce; Hyperion House (Diva Care); Fabulous Partyware; Fairford Flower Collective; The Coffee Post; Redhouse Photography & Film.
Cotswold Life magazine; Ripples Magazine and Wilts & Glos Standard.
Thanks also to:
Philip Allwood, Auctioneer from Moore, Allen & Innocent; Gary Holland, compere and former Mayor Lechlade and Director of Lechlade Music Festival; Delores Vintage Singer; Sudbury House Hotel, Faringdon.