The winner of the Dabbers Den competition, now in its seventh year, has been announced.
With 2018 seeing a high number of entries and an extremely high standard of pitches presented, judges said it was a difficult task to form the final decision on this year’s winner.
In the end, Weston Biltong Company Ltd took the gong, recognising the fact that it’s becoming more important to know where your products are sourced and if they have been locally produced.
The Weston Biltong Company began as a hobby inspired by a family holiday to South Africa enjoyed by founders Sheryl and Ryan Walker and their children.
They began making 3kg of handmade South African dried meats per week for friends and family before establishing the business in May 2016.
It has since expanded to drying over 500kg of meat for customers across Cheshire, Staffordshire and other parts of the UK.
All the products are handmade using 100% British Beef which supports British farmers across the UK.
The Dabbers Den judges were extremely impressed with the presentation delivered by Sheryl and Ryan, demonstrating a strong customer base and high quality product
They were also impressed by Sheryl and her family’s hard work, showcasing their product at makers markets and food festivals across the UK.
Sheryl commented: “We are thrilled that the judges saw the potential in our small business and that we are very excited to receive their mentoring over the next twelve months as well as having the extra money to invest into the future of The Weston Biltong Company.”
As first place winners, The Weston Biltong Company will receive a £5,000 cash prize, 12 months of accountancy and business mentoring, a business legal health check and a council masterclass provided by Cheshire East Council.
Martin Webb, representing one of the sponsors of the competition, said: “Both Sheryl and Ryan demonstrated to us a business which has been built using enthusiasm, hard work and a product inspired by both British and African cultures.
“It was refreshing to see a family business continue to grow and we look forward to seeing how their future plans expand the business further.”
There were additional prizes for second and third place contestants.
Second place was awarded to Sarah Gilsenan with her business Krafty Kidz, a children’s craft company who offer activity mornings and events in Nantwich, designed to inspire young minds to make, create and have fun.
Sarah will receive six months support and mentoring and a free legal business health check.
Third place went to Sleepgod Ltd, founded by Susan Erlam, which provides luxury products to help people sleep better and increase awareness of mental health issues by improving people’s wellbeing.
Susan will receive six months support and mentoring and a free legal business health check.