A FAMILY-owned bakery and tea rooms was named West Oxfordshire’s business of the year at a prestigious award ceremony.
The team from Huffkins, which has tea rooms in Witney and Burford, walked away with three prizes at the West Oxfordshire Business Awards on Friday evening.
Other winners on the night included Tickittyboo, a children’s boutique based in Chipping Norton, and The Rooflight Company, which offers bespoke skylights and roof windows from Shipton-under-Wychwood.
Although the event at Heythrop Park Resort in Enstone celebrated a wide range of businesses across the district, the big winner on the night was Huffkins, which was called a ‘great business ambassador for West Oxfordshire' by organisers.
As well as winning the STL West Oxfordshire Business of the Year Award, the company also picked up the Wychwood Brewery Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Award and The MGroup Employer of the Year Award.
Lorna Bennett-Murdoch, baking manager at Huffkins, said: "We are so overwhelmed to win two awards as well as being named the West Oxfordshire Business of the Year, especially as this is our third year of being a WOBA finalist.
"The owner of Huffkins, Topsy Taee, has been an inspiration to all of the team and we feel to proud to accept these awards on her behalf.
"She often says: ‘You see the top of that mountain? That’s where we’re heading.’ And she is being proved right.
"We don’t do too badly for what started out as a little tea room in the Cotswolds."
The independent bakery has achieved a far greater reach than its five tea rooms, with over 14,000 cream teas exported to Japan, in addition to selling a range of baked goods in Royal Heritage Palaces and Fortnum and Mason.
As well as tea rooms in Witney and Burford Huffkins also has cafes in Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham and Stratford-upon-Avon.
Its online sales have increased by 200 per cent and further growth markets have been identified in the US and Europe, where there is a strong demand for quintessentially British cakes.
Other successes on the night included Aston Pottery, which won the NFU Mutual Retail Award and Vivian Woodell, of The Phone Co-op, who walked away with the Liga Business Person of the Year Award.
Jo Sensecall of the WOBA organising team said: "Congratulations to all winners, but especially to the team behind Huffkins, which is a great business ambassador for West Oxfordshire."
The WOBA 2017 charity HENRY (Health Exercise Nutrition for the Really Young) raised £1,454 at the event. The organisation has been running a healthy families programme through children’s centres across the UK since 2009 and has reached 8,000 families.
A launch event for WOBA 2018 will take place on September 26 at Blenheim Palace.
Next year’s charity will be Bridewell Organic Gardens.