A Welsh micro-bakery has been named one of the country’s best rural entrepreneurs at the Amazon-sponsored Rural Business Awards 2017.
Crwst, from Pembrokshire, was highly commended in the Rural Entrepreneur of the Year category.
Crwst is a micro-bakery based in a home kitchen and run by co-owners Catrin and Osian Jones. They produce handmade real bread and seasonal bakes, supplying local businesses and using local produce for their baking. The judges were impressed by the vision and ambition of the young business.
Osian Jones from Crwst said:
“Taking part in this year’s Rural Business Awards has been a great experience for us. The encouragement of knowing that organisations like the CLA and Amazon are supporting small rural businesses like Crwst is fantastic. We pride ourselves on our small home-bakery based in Pembrokeshire. We use locally sourced goods and seasonal produce whenever possible and have a fantastic network of local businesses and markets that we work with regularly. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our loyal customers who return week on week to buy our produce. It’s great that programmes like the Rural Business Awards shine a light on these rural economies and show just how strong they are.”
“The stories of these successful rural businesses are incredibly inspiring and just go to show the immense talent that exists at the heart of our rural communities in the UK,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “I would like to extend a hearty congratulations to those who were successful in the awards, and to thank all those who entered and shared their successes, and wish them the very best for the future.”
Elsewhere in Wales, quirky wedding venue The Ceridwen Centre in the Teifi Valley was high commended in the Best Rural Tourism Business Category and rights-of-way consultancy ET Landnet was highly commended for Best Rural Professional Services Business.
The only UK-wide programme dedicated to showcasing the success of rural businesses, the Rural Business Awards are now in their third year and are run in partnership with the CLA and Amazon.
The RBAs are the brainchild of Leicestershire businesswomen Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, who wanted to showcase the wealth of entrepreneurial talent in rural areas of Britain – a sector of the economy they felt was all-too-often overlooked in favour of large city-based firms.
The awards are organised by rural businesses for rural businesses and judged by people who understand the rural sector, which is growing rapidly and employs in excess of 3.4 million people in more than 600,000 businesses across the UK.
This year’s awards saw nearly three times as many entries as in 2016, with businesses from 52 counties in the UK sending in their applications. They were split into 13 categories with five finalists in each, of which one winner, one runner-up and three highly commended prizes were awarded, plus an overall champion of champions.
CLA Director General Helen Woolley said:
“The CLA is delighted to partner with the Rural Business Awards to highlight the vital contribution our rural areas make to the wider economy.
“It was a great pleasure for me to be a part of the judging panel to see the passion for rural business demonstrated by the finalists. My congratulations go to all the winners who have shown great expertise in their field and have a real understanding of how they fit into the rural economy as a whole. I urge all our winners to keep flying the flag for rural business!”
Jemma Clifford, who co-founded the RBAs, alongside Anna Price, said:
“The Rural Business Awards give rural enterprises of all sizes the opportunity to showcase their success and the contribution they are making to our thriving rural economy – just the firms that have entered in 2017 have combined turnovers well in excess of £70m. Hundreds of companies enter the RBAs each year and the finalists illustrate the best businesses the countryside has to offer in each of the 13 categories.”
This year’s glittering awards ceremony was held at Denbies Wine Estates in Surrey on October 5. Entries open for next year’s awards in November. To find out more, visit www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk