Suffolk and Essex firms in running for Family Business of the Year title

Sarah and Steve Bays of Century Office.
Picture: CliQQ Photography

Sarah and Steve Bays of Century Office. Picture: CliQQ Photography - Credit: Archant

Five firms from Suffolk and north Essex are in the running to be named as 2018’s Family Business of the Year for the eastern region.

The Coes store in Norwich Road, Ipswich.

The Coes store in Norwich Road, Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

The East and East Anglia regional contest forms part of the national Family Business of the Year Awards, organised by Family Business United and now in their sixth year.

Among the businesses on the regional shorlist are the Aveley Lodge Care Home, at Fingringhoe, near Colchester, furniture supplier Century Office, based in Colchester, and rigging manufacturer Sta-Lok Terminals from Mistley, near Manningtree.

Also among the finalists are clothing retailer Coes from Ipswich and weaving company Stephen Walter & Sons from Great Cornard, near Sudbury.

Completing the shortlist in the region are RG Abrey Farms from East Wretham, near Thetford, H Banham from Hempton, near Fakenham, the Highfield Event Group, based at Burwell, in Cambridgeshire, Hi Team, from Impington, near Cambridge, and Peterborough-based Paintshield.

Paul Andrews, managing director of Family Business United, said: “We are delighted to be able to pull together such a vibrant bunch of family businesses, some that have succeeded for numerous generations and continue to thrive, and others that are relatively young but have great values at the heart of what they do.”

Adam Jones, a partner and head of family business services at regional law firm Birketts, which is sponsoring the award, added “Any one of those shortlisted would make worthy winners and ambassadors for the sector.

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“We are looking forward to finding out more about each of them and I am sure that the decisions to determine the winner will not be easy. We are looking for a great family business ambassador to fly the flag for family businesses in the East and East Anglia region.”

Previous winners in the region include cider, fruit juice and vinegar maker Aspalls from near Debenham, Phillips Bros Wood Shavings from Raydon, near Hadleigh, Perrywood Garden Centre in Tiptree, Howard Nurseries from Wortham, near Diss, and Adcock Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, based at Great Shelford in Cambridgeshire with a branch in Ipswich.

This year’s winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on June 7. In addition to the main regional award, to be determined by a panel of judges, there is also a “People’s Choice” award based on a public vote. For details, click here.