Oh my giddy aunt!! We only went and won the award for The Best Rural Tourism Business in the East at the Rural Business Awards last Friday 1st November at Trinity Park in Ipswich.
We’ve won two awards now this year and we really couldn’t be more proud, delighted, a tad giddy and I have to say shocked and overwhelmed to be honest.
Setting up a business is never going to be easy, I’ve said all of this before but when you have a ‘seed of an idea’ and then pluck up the courage to give it a go, to then watch and feel it grow and develop, is immensely satisfying, rewarding…….and flipping hard work!
The Rural Business Awards are now in their 5th year following another ‘seed of an idea’ made over a farmhouse kitchen table in rural Leicestershire, wanting to make a difference to the profile of rural businesses in the UK.
When we saw how many amazing finalists were in the tourism category (8!) I think it’s fair to say, we didn’t think we stood a chance in scooping an award. We were in shock that we’d got this far and made the shortlist of finalists. So, when our name was read out of the golden envelope (Yes really, a golden envelope, just without the TV dramatic suspense pause!) I had to suppress a squeal (all the other winners were so professional and….well quiet) but the look we gave each other said it all……..shock and sheer elation!
BEST RURAL TOURISM BUSINESS – Rural Business Awards 2019/20
This award aims to celebrate businesses that attract visitors to our rural backwaters and heartlands. Projecting all that is wonderful about our rural tourism sector, we will reward businesses that are truly outstanding and offer something a bit different or innovative. With rural values, philosophy and commitment to customer care the winning business will stand out as a flagship of excellence.
The winning business will be able to clearly demonstrate:
- Strong business ethics and financial competency
- Strategy for sustaining quality and continuous improvement
- A clear understanding of the market and customers to whom the business is selling
- That consideration has been given to addressing accessibility and inclusivity
- That the business is sustainable, has excellent green credentials, and consideration has been given to environmental impact
- Exceptional customer care and the willingness to go the extra mile for customers
- Uniqueness in offering – what sets the business apart from the competition
- Commitment to ongoing improvement both in terms of customer experience and staff satisfaction
- Links with local communities and businesses for the benefit for all
All of the above are very important to us and we’re delighted we were able to demonstrate this to the judges.
Another North Norfolk business scooped not one but two very worthy awards. The Itteringham Community Shop has been a shop in the heart of the village since 1637. Its now run by the community and volunteers with guidance from the Itteringham Community Association. It was an absolute privilege to meet them. We don’t live far from the shop and I totally recommend their coffee and cake whilst doing a spot of shopping (lots of local produce) plus there are some lovely walks from the village to, perfect!
What’s next? The National Finals in Manchester next February…….I’ll keep you posted!
Now…..what am I going to wear??