Record annual growth as holiday cottage letting agency Best of Suffolk celebrates 10th anniversary
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk-based holiday cottage lettings agency which is this month celebrating 10 years in business has reported its busiest year yet for bookings.
Best of Suffolk began as a “cottage industry” in every sense, with founders Alex and Naomi Tarry starting out with a portfolio of just six properties and running it from their kitchen table.
But their decision to leave corporate careers to pursue their vision, of applying the standards of boutique hotels to the self-catering sector, paid off, with the business growing to occupy the entire ground floor of their home.
Five years ago, they relocated to coverted barn nearby, where the agency now employs a total of 10 people, with two more due to join shortly.
To mark its 10th anniversary, the company hosted an event attended by the owners of some of the 330 properties it now administers, with Central Suffolk MP Dan Poulter also present.
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“I was absolutely delighted to be invited along to celebrate the occasion of the 10th birthday of Best of Suffolk and would like to offer Naomi, Alex and the team my congratulations”, said Dr Poulter.
“Best of Suffolk has been such a fantastic success story, with the business going from strength to strength and it’s great to hear of businesses like these contributing to the local economy and growing year on year.
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“2016 looks set to be another bumper year for visitors coming to Suffolk and holiday makers looking to come to the county are spoilt for choice. I hope to be able to join Best of Suffolk at their 20th birthday celebrations.”
On the day of the celebration, Alex and Naomi calculated that a total of 1,695 guests were staying at properties let by the company and that, over the year as whole, their customers will contribute around £5m of spend to the Suffolk tourism industry.
“This year has seen our fastest rate of growth yet, with bookings up 22% year-on-year,” said Alex. “It began in January, long before the Brexit vote, and having started strong it has remained strong all year.
“Reaching 10 years is a major milestone for us, and we are particularly proud of the contribution that the business makes to the wider Suffolk economy.
“Best of Suffolk brings tens of thousands of tourists into Suffolk each year, and these people are supporting many other Suffolk businesses by eating in local restaurants, buying local produce and visiting Suffolk’s tourist attractions, spending money in our local communities.”
Best of Suffolk has picked up a number of awards, including the Contribution to Tourism award at the Suffolk Coast Business Awards, and several of the properties it markets have also received awards for conservation from Suffolk Coastal District Council.
The couple have also been keen to contribute to the local community in other ways, with Naomi having chaired the Aldeburgh Business Association for three years and currently being on the board of Suffolk Business Women, part of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.
And their entrepreneurial spirit continues, with Alex having founded a new estate agency business, Best Estates, in 2014 with offices in Aldeburgh and Beccles and a third opening in Sudbury soon.