The regional winners of the Coutts Prize for Family Business 2008/9 have been announced. The prize recognises the best run family businesses in England and Wales. In the £25m+ turnover category, two companies will go forward to challenge for the national title on 23 June: Nelson & Russell Holdings Ltd and East End Foods.
Founded in 1860, Nelsons was acquired by the Wilson family in 1974 and is now led by two brothers, Robert and Patrick Wilson. A second-generation business with over 200 full time employees, Nelsons manufactures and sells natural medicines and healthcare products.
David Molian, regional chairman of the evaluation committee, said the London-based company had displayed “an impressive level of growth and produced a business which will flourish regardless of the economic cycle.”
In particular, the evaluation committee was impressed by the emphasis placed on family values and the significant contribution the company makes to the community, an exemplary product portfolio, and the way in which the family has established the brand and are constantly looking for new opportunities to leverage it.
The second regional winner, West Bromwich-based East End Foods, was formed in 1972 by the Wouhra brothers. Today, as a second-generation family business, it is the largest importer of Indian food products and ingredients to the UK.
“East End Foods is an amazing success story for a family who have built something from nothing in less than thirty years,” said Lucy Armstrong, regional chair of the evaluation committee. “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, among other qualities, the strong sense of family commitment and involvement in the business and the active engagement in the local community and the broader environment in which they operate such as working with hospitals to produce healthy Indian meals as part of their commitment to being a good corporate citizen.