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Archive for June, 2014

Stars of Business Awards Winners announced

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

A glitzy ceremony took place at the North Lakes Hotel in Penrith on 20th June to announce the winners of Penrith Chamber of Trade’s third Stars of Business Awards, sponsored by Dodd & Co Accountants.

The awards, which were part of the Chamber’s annual dinner, had an ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ theme and saw 140 business people from the area come together to celebrate the wonderful business landscape Penrith has to offer.

Guest speaker of the evening was Sam Rayner, Managing Director of Lakeland Limited who gave an insightful speech about doing business in Cumbria over the years.

The awards, which were put together by Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Lisa Coates of Acorn Marketing (Cumbria) Ltd, were to recognise the multitude of thriving businesses in Penrith and the local area and the difference they make to the local economy in our region.  Voting for this year’s awards was online and over 220 nominations were made by the general public for a wide variety of businesses.

Winning businesses in the 2014 Stars of Business awards were:

Winner of the Independent Retailer of the Year award (sponsored by Armstrong Watson)

Hedgehog Bookshop.  The judges commented that hedgehog Bookshop was extremely focused, had high energy and passion for what they do.  They go the extra mile for customers and have received some excellent testimonials that anyone would be envious of.  They showed evidence of getting involved with the community and local economy and have shown growth and recently expanded, whilst only trading for 18 months.  Hedgehog Bookshop stood out to all the judges and ticked every box as an independent retailer.

Winner of the Independent Business of the Year Award (sponsored by Enterprise Answers)

Salon Rouge. The judges were particularly impressed with the passion Salon Rouge showed and the pride they have in what they do.  Not only do they have high standards, but have shown evidence of growth and development, as well as staff training and outstanding comments from customers – some of which brought a tear to the eyes of the judges.  The team really gets involved with community events and goes above and beyond for their customers.  The judges felt Salon Rouge was progressive, customer focused and commercially minded.

Winner of the award for Outstanding Contribution to Business (Sponsored byCartmell Shepherd)

Tanya Tinkler from Salon Rouge. This category was extremely close with shining examples of some of the successful, determined and passionate business people we have in Penrith.  The judges could really feel the passion in Tanya’s application, with the energy and dedication she has to her business shining though.  Tanya clearly stands out as a great business driver, commercially strong leader and customer focused and the judges all agreed if interviewing her she would definitely get the job.  In all areas Tanya shined and the judges couldn’t have asked for more from a worthy winner.

Winner of the award for Unsung Hero (Sponsored by Penrith Building Society)

Angela Gilmore from Penrith Cinema.  This is a really special award as it recognises the work of people that ensure the smooth running of a business, but behind the scenes.  It is often the unseen staff that makes a business successful and this award is a celebration of the wonderful achievements of some of these people and the contribution they make to the businesses they work in.  There were some fantastic nominations in this category and the comments received were heart warming and praise should be given to each person shortlisted in this category.  The judges felt Angela was a genuine ‘Unsung Hero’ – she goes the extra mile, is enthusiastic about her role and is “The heart of Penrith.”

Winner of Star of the Community award (sponsored by the Pride in Penrith Lottery)

The Winter Droving. Applications for this category were selected from all the groups who had received a grant from the Pride in Penrith Lottery in 2103.  The public could vote for their favourite community group or event in this category and for the second year in a row was awarded to The Winter Droving.  This event is unique not only for Penrith, but for Cumbria and continues to grow and engage with a wide range of people from community groups, schools, young people and businesses.

Finalists and winners of the Stars of Business Awards were all nominated for their contribution to business in the local area and were judged by an independent panel of business experts from out of the Penrith area.  Businesses were judged independently from the Chamber Committee and therefore decisions were made on an impartial basis and only on the nominations received online and supporting documentation submitted by each business.

Fine Lines – new exhibition at Dorothy Wightman Interiors

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Fine Lines, a new exhibition arrives at Dorothy Wightman Interiors, near Kirkby Lonsdale, on 21st June, which celebrates subtle colours, beautifully finished surfaces and simple structures; whilst not underestimating the simple, fine lines often found in great works of art.

Fine Lines is the fourth exhibition at the interior design studio and gallery this year, showcasing the work of some of the UKs leading artists and crafts people.  Dorothy has a passion for perfection and uses the finest fabrics and designs and works with some of the leading suppliers in her interior design work.  Her exhibitions are no different and are curated to showcase some of the finest artists from across the globe, with works of the highest quality and workmanship.

Dorothy Wightman comments,

“I am passionate about good quality work, exquisite craftsmanship and stunning design, which are the foundations on which I have built my business.  The exhibitions we host are an opportunity to bring together some of the UKs finest artists to Cumbria and exhibit to people across the county works of art, which they may never get the opportunity to see.” 

Fine Lines includes work by Jessica Turrell, Rebecca Callis and Petra Bittl.

Jessica works in enamel producing both jewellery and larger works.   She trained in jewellery and enamel at Central School of Art, London. Over recent years she has undertaken a sustained period of research into mark-making using non-traditional enamel techniques. Her current studio practice includes the production of both jewellery and larger scale enamel work.  In both her jewellery and larger scale work she strives to obtain a tactile delicacy whilst making pieces that reward the wearer’s close attention with an intricate and detailed surface.

Rebecca Callis, who lives and works locally in Kendal makes finely thrown porcelain which has an understated elegance inspired by her love of the set table and the rituals associated with food and drink.  Rebecca is due to move into The Factory soon, which is a sustainable and dynamic community of creative workspaces; evolving to meet the needs of creative professionals and supporting Kendal and the Lakes as a centre of arts and creativity in the North West.

Finally, Petra Bittl from Germany brings an international flavour to the exhibition.  She is a ceramicist who’s simple and very contemporary shapes are usually marked with ‘fine lines’. The award winning artist has just returned from exhibiting in China and has introduced some very vibrant colours to her work.

The exhibition will run at the Dorothy Wightman Interiors Gallery until 1st August 2014.  To find out more please visit

Brougham Halls Foods celebrates 10 years in business

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Brougham Hall Foods, based in Penrith, Cumbria, celebrated ten successful years in business in May with a re-launch of their brand and significant increase in sales and turnover.

The business has steadily grown over the past ten years, building a reputation for selling high quality produce, distributed throughout the UK.  Sales have significantly grown over the past two years, the delivery vans are out on the road more often and the company has had to take on four new members of staff to meet demand and continue to look for additional team members.

Brougham Hall Foods supply hotels, restaurants and retail outlets throughout the UK with some of the finest produce from our region.  Some of their customers include The Samling Hotel, Sharrow Bay Hotel, J&J Graham, Low Sizergh Barn and the Punchbowl at Crosthwaite.  Brougham Hall Foods has access to many artisan food producers (including Silver & Green, Hawkshead Relish, Thornby Moor, Appleby Creamery, Brackenfell Rare Breeds) and can find the best quality, handmade produce, rather than mass produced run of the mill ingredients.  This enables chefs to ensure the ingredients they use on their menus is of the best quality, but also gives small producers a root to market and a new way of promoting and selling their goods.

In celebration of the development of the business a new brand has been created which will be used in all promotional material, website and livery on new vehicles which Brougham Hall Foods has recently purchased.  The new brand identity is more up to date, fresh and says that Brougham Hall Foods is a quality brand.

Brougham Hall Foods was set up by professional chef and entrepreneur Richard Muirhead in 2004.  Richard was the owner of the Old Smokehouse, which was bought by Taste of the Lakes.  Two years ago Mark Farrell joined the business after enquiries were increasing and demand was growing.  Mark, aged 24 from Penrith was studying law at college at the time and planning on moving to Leeds to study to become a barrister.  However, after seeing the potential of the business and reassessing his future career, decided to become a partner in the business – with his future father in law.

Mark comments, “The business was set up out of a love of good food and quality produce.  We have a passion for Cumbria and high quality produce, artisan producers and superb ingredients is what Cumbria is all about.  We are also passionate about helping other small businesses get onto the menus of some of the best restaurants around.  We are delighted with how our business is growing.  People want good quality food and to know where it comes from and this is growing service we can provide…you want it…we can find it!”

Brougham Hall Foods supply a range of produce from smoked meat, fish and game, cheese and dairy products, speciality fine foods and have begun sourcing fresh fruit and vegetables that can be taken from the field to kitchen in very few hours.