Dairy products exporter Coombe Castle International has been named as Business of the Year 2013 in the first Enterprising Wiltshire Awards.
It was double cream for the company at a packed event at Bowood Hotel as Coombe Castle International’s managing director Darren Larvin received both Business of the Year 2013 award and also took the title of Best Exporter – North Wiltshire.
Speaking after the presentation, Mr Larvin said: “This win is a phenomenal achievement for everyone in the business. It comes at the end of a fantastic few years for us.”
Asked why his business had been so successful in exporting dairy products to over 40 countries, Mr Larvin said: “It’s all about the relationships we have with our suppliers and customers – even in countries like the USA, Canada, Russia and Japan – and not forgetting the great team we have here in Wiltshire. That’s what really counts.”
The company was the first from the UK to export cream to the growing South Korean market.
Founded in 1980 and based in Corsham and Calne, Coombe Castle International employs 30 people. It exports its own cream and also butter and cheese products from a range of farms, creameries and dairies. Mr Larvin said the firm has just completed the purchase of a new site in Melksham.
Explaining why the judges had selected Coombe Castle International, Chris Simpson, senior business manager at the Wiltshire Business Support Service, said: “Although it was very difficult to pick the Business of the Year from such a diverse set of category winners, Coombe Castle International stood out in terms of the company’s recent achievements, its genuine growth in emerging markets and commitment to its place in Wiltshire.”
Over 140 firms entered the inaugural Enterprising Wiltshire Awards, run by the Wiltshire Business Support Service. Many attended Friday evening’s ceremony alongside representatives from Wiltshire’s chambers of commerce.
Chris said: “We’re been astounded by the response to the awards in terms of both quantity and quality. The judges had to consider some truly amazing businesses operating in very diverse areas such as security services, retail and training. If anything, it’s shown what an amazing diversity of businesses trade in Wiltshire.”
Winners of each category received a cash prize of £1,000, donated by Wiltshire Council. Coombe Castle International as Business of the Year received an additional £500, bringing its total prize to £1,500, but most importantly gains access to a comprehensive package of business support, advice and networking opportunities provided by the team at the Wiltshire Business Support Service.
The winners were:
The Enterprising Wiltshire Business of the Year 2013
Coombe Castle International
Best Exporter – North Wiltshire
Coombe Castle International
Best Exporter – Mid-Wiltshire
Eyedot Europe (Devizes-based electronics company)
Best Innovator – North Wiltshire
Alford Technologies (Chippenham-based Applied Energetic Materials Technologies firm)
Best Innovator – Mid-Wiltshire
Generative Parametrics (Devizes, engineering and design development)
Best Innovator – South Wiltshire
Urge Cycles (mobile cycle mechanics from Salisbury)
Best Start-Up – North Wiltshire
Ice Cool Box (online gifts business based in Biddestone)
Best Start–Up – Mid-Wiltshire
Made in Bradford on Avon (community retail shop)
Best Start-Up – South Wiltshire
The Training Wing (Ludgershall-based specialists in maritime security, close protection and medical training)
Judges for the awards were Rob Perks, CEO of the Wessex Association of Chambers of Commerce; Alistair Cunningham, Wiltshire Council’s director – Economy and Regeneration; Paul Johnson, chairman of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership; George Trystman from the Salisbury branch of the Federation of Small Business, and successful Wiltshire IT entrepreneur James Phipps.