North West Family Business Awards


Sally’s Cottages spent the night eating fine food under the wings of the iconic Concorde last night (well, Sally, Rebecca and Andrea did).  It was the finals of the North West Family Business Awards and Rebecca Laff, office manager of Sally’s Cottages, was a finalist for Employee of the Year.  

Sally, Andrea and Rebecca at the North West Family Business Awards

It was stiff competition, with finalists all over the North West vying for the top spot.  In the event Rebecca was pipped to the post by Mark Porter of Higginsons Butchers and Pie Makers.  If you’re going to be beaten by anyone, a pie maker is a fabulous person to be beaten by!

Other finalists for the Employee of the Year category included: 
Will McMahon of Kendal Nutricare
Laura Kitchen, the Black Bull
Tom Curtin, Dunsters Farm
Lee Sanderson, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses
Ben Taylor, Arragon’s Cycles
Samuel Morrison, Herdwork
Kim Howard, Brades Farm Dairy
Stephen Capel, Bluebell Fitted Furniture
Kimble Cartner, Irvings Coaches
Sandra Sproat, Stan Sherlock Associates Ltd.  

The North West Family Business Awards, run by Sue Howorth and Dave Clarkson of the Family Business Network, are a magnificent celebration of local family businesses, showcasing the diversity and talent of the family firms which make the North West the superpower it is today.  

Entertainment was by Molly’s Chambers, a Mancunian acoustic folk band headed up by Daniel Pye (Guitar and vocal) and Richard Sanderson (Violin).  Particular shout out must go to Richard Sanderson for his indefatigable energy on the violin – leaping onto tables, bouncing round the room, bringing everyone up to fever pitch with his stupendous fiddling skills and stomping attitude.  

The night was compered by Nigel Barden – a food and drink broadcaster who specialises in promoting British ingredients and artisan producers.  His Foodie Thursday slot on Simon Mayo and Chris Evans’ Drivetime BBC Radio 2 show was a much loved feature and you can still find him talking food with Simon Mayo on Scala Radio, Saturdays.  

The award trophies themselves, are beautiful.  Designed by Siobhan Miles-Moor of Miles-Moore Ceramics and Des Metcalfe of Front Row Graphics, they have been created to emulate the varied horizons and coastlines of the North West and are in their own right, a work of art.  The glaze is made from the materials that built our region – brick clay, iron, wood, ash and granite.  

Cumbria Family Business Awards 2017

Sally’s Cottages was the winner of the Small Leisure and Tourism Business Award in the Cumbrian Family Business Awards in 2017.  The Cumbrian Family Business Awards have since grown to encompass five counties, morphing into the North West Family Business Awards.  

For more information about The Family Business Network, please visit