West Bromwich-based East End Foods has scooped a prestigious award for family businesses, beating stiff competition from firms in the rest of the Midlands and the North.
The second generation family business, the largest importer of Indian food products and ingredients to the UK, took the title Best UK Family Business Northern England and the Midlands Region in the Coutts Prize for Family Business.
East End Foods will now go on to compete in the £25 million plus category at the national finals to be held in central London on June 23.
Formed in 1972 by the Wouhra brothers, East End Foods cleans, packs and processes its goods in the UK and distributes to independent stores and large retailers such as Waitrose, Tesco and Asda across the UK and Europe. The company also runs two cash and carry stores in Birmingham.
East End Foods will receive a silver plaque, made by third generation family business Piccadilly Jewellers of Birmingham, as well as a unique cartoon by renowned cartoonist Robert Duncan.
Lucy Armstrong, regional chairwoman of the evaluation committee, said: “East End Foods is an amazing success story for a family who have built something from nothing in less than 30 years.
“This is an entrepreneurial family that has used all its talents to develop a strong business with consistent growth and profitability.”
The judges were particularly impressed with the strong sense of family commitment and involvement in the business and the company’s active engagement in the local community.
East End Foods operations director and company secretary Jason Wouhra said: “As a second generation member of the family and board,
“I am looking forward to our next stage of growth and future progress. Our strong team, family values and ongoing strategy will enable us to achieve this despite the present economic conditions.”
Banbury-based Norbar Torque Tools won the top prize in the Best UK Family Business, Southern England & Wales region in the £5 to 25 million turnover category.
Established in 1942, Norbar is a third generation family business and was the first company in Britain to commercially manufacture a torque wrench. It now employs 200 people in Banbury with a further 90 staff within its sales companies in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and China.
Norbar chairman Craig Brodey said: “When our solicitor’s Brethertons nominated us for the award we were delighted to learn that the criteria for judging was not just based on a winning performance in the market place, but also included some of the other core values that the Brodey family believe are key to a successful business.
“These include striving for the best practice in family and business governance, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability.
“While we may be a modern company in terms of outlook we have never abandoned some of the key fundamentals that the founder Bill Brodey exemplified such as integrity, respect and a desire to do the right thing by people.”
Meanwhile, a Gloucester fire and security systems specialist company took the prize for Best UK Family Business, Southern England and Wales Region, in the £1 to 5 million turnover category.
Allcooper, which employs 62 full-time staff, is a leader in the fire and security industry.
The evaluation committee pointed to Allcooper’s strong family ethos and the family’s commitment towards the business and to each other.
The Coutts Prize for Family Business recognises the best run family businesses in England and Wales, and is the only regional and national awards programme in England and Wales celebrating the overall best performing small, medium-sized and large family businesses.
The awards recognise firms in three categories (£1 million to £5 million, £5 million to £25 million and over £25 million) that demonstrate a combination of high standards of family governance and corporate governance, a competitive market position, consistent financial growth, and a track record of charitable giving or involvement in community.