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Innovation Award in Food Manufacturing 2020: Another Win for Simply Doughnuts

Not long after being named a winner of the Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation, we’ve picked up another prestigious business award. In October, we received news that we’d won the Innovation Award in Food Manufacturing 2020.

The accolade is part of the 2020 Northern Enterprise Awards, which are organised each year by SME News.

On 14th October, the awards team wrote to confirm that we had, in fact, won two awards, stating:

“Following on from your recent nomination acceptance in the 2020 Northern Enterprise Awards, the judging panel have made their final decisions and I am delighted to inform you of the outcome! With absolute pleasure, I can confirm that Simply Doughnuts Ltd has been named:

  • Best Long-Life Doughnuts Manufacturer 2020
  • Innovation Award in Food Manufacturing 2020

“This prestigious award marks the hard work and stellar efforts of those who have helped shape this demanding and dynamic region, and our comprehensive selection and judging process singles out the true market leaders over the past year.”

Responding to the announcement, Simply Doughnuts Managing Director Shiraz Master said:

“We’re grateful to the event organisers and delighted to have picked up two further awards this year. 2020 has certainly been challenging for everyone but these awards are further evidence that our hard work and innovation are paying off.

“The onset of the pandemic saw reduced footfall in most UK stores so, to minimise their risks, many retailers have shifted their emphasis to products with longer shelf lives. This is obviously one of our great strengths and orders have risen accordingly. I’m very proud of all our staff for their effort and dedication under very demanding conditions, and I’m pleased to accept these awards on their behalf.”

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Supporting the NHS

In May 2020, we were approached by an NHS mental health nurse from East Lancashire who said she wanted to mark Mental Health Awareness Week by “spreading random acts of kindness amongst the teams and families we support.”

The NHS teams in question provide front-line services for families in East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen, which is of course, where Simply Doughnuts is based. We thought this was a wonderful idea that greatly deserved to be supported, so we readily agreed to provide a free consignment of doughnuts that could be shared out amongst those who would most appreciate them.

Consequently, we made a special delivery to Charlotte Blackburn, the specialist safeguarding practitioner who had originally contacted us. Charlotte is based at Daisyfield Mill in Blackburn and she said she was “over the moon” at the donation.

Describing the background to her plan, she said: “I support the teams within our area who provide safeguarding services – covering issues such as child protection, domestic abuse, mental health and so on. We work closely with a range of colleagues – for example: community mental health teams, district nursing teams, the inpatients team at Pendleview Royal Blackburn and others.

“I’m really passionate about ensuring staff wellbeing, and I really believe that now, more than ever, it’s important to look after our mental wellbeing and feel appreciated in what has been one of the most challenging times we have ever faced. My plan for Mental Health Awareness Week was to surprise some of our teams with random acts of kindness, by way of a ‘thank you’ card and some sweet treats, which always go down well.”

Charlotte’s plan went ahead as planned and she sent us a number of photos to show how well received the doughnuts were.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have been able to support this idea,” said company MD Shiraz Master. “Celebrating kindness is always important, but it was especially good to have been able to do this at a time when NHS staff have been working so hard and under such challenging conditions. Like the whole of the country, we really value NHS staff and all that they do, and this was one small way of showing our appreciation.”

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Simply Doughnuts Wins the Queen’s Award for Innovation

Simply Doughnuts is delighted to report that it has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of Innovation. The decision was formally announced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy on 21st April 2020.

Now in their 54th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country. HM Government describes them as “a royal seal of approval for the UK’s most outstanding businesses… recognising and celebrating business excellence across the UK.”

In our case, the Award recognises excellence in the field of Innovation. The basis of our application was our pioneering work in food manufacturing techniques that create products with an exceptionally long shelf-life. As a result of staying fresh for much longer than competing products, our doughnuts greatly reduce waste – not only in terms of the food itself but also in terms of packaging, energy and road miles. This will have been a significant factor in the judging process; the application guidance placed considerable emphasis on sustainability, responsible production and reducing global food waste.

“We are absolutely delighted with this award,” said Simply Doughnuts managing director Shiraz Master. “Getting here has taken literally years of effort – lots of testing, research and refinement – plus a massive contribution from the whole manufacturing team.

“But it has all been worth it. We now have products that are hugely successful and way beyond anything our competitors can produce. They save waste, they minimise risks to retailers and, on top of everything, they have enabled us to win the most prestigious business award in the whole of the UK. What more could we ask?”

Simply Doughnuts is one of 220 British businesses to have been recognised with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Later this year, the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire will make a formal presentation of the trophy at our premises in Blackburn.

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Championing Covid Response Measures

Simply Doughnuts is one of a number of British businesses that the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has approached, asking us to spread the word about the support that’s available to businesses during the period of the coronavirus pandemic.

The following is an extract from a formal statement by BEIS:

Coronavirus Business Support

The Government’s Business Support website (businesssupport.gov.uk) outlines the full range of business support measures that have been made available to UK businesses and employees.

It includes details on:
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme which will help businesses affected to access bank lending and overdrafts if they need to. For loans up to £5 million, the Government is providing a guarantee for each loan. Find out more.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those who would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. Find out more.

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors in England for the 2020-21 tax year. Find out more.

Up to £25,000 per property Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure in England. Find out more.

Small Business Grant Funding for small businesses in England that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief, rural rate relief and tapered relief. Find out more.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for staff absence due to coronavirus. Find out more.

Time to Pay – all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time to Pay Service. Find out more.

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility where the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. Find out more.

VAT Deferral for 3 months for businessesFind out more.

Income Tax Deferral for the Self-Employed under the Self-Assessment System until January 2021. Find out more.

Frequently asked questions that will be regularly updated according to the latest advice and guidance.

Further advice for businesses and employees in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland is available.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This scheme, which was originally announced by the Chancellor at Budget, has now opened. It is being run by the British Business Bank and over 40 accredited lenders, who can provide lending of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. It will support the continued provision of finance to SMEs during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is an important scheme for SMEs, and we would appreciate your help in distributing information about it so that as many SMEs as possible can make use of it at an extremely difficult time. Information for SMEs and business advisors can be found here. Information for accredited lenders or prospective lenders can be found here.

Keeping Children at Home

DfE are putting out messages on social media asking people to keep children at home if at all possible. Critical workers can still send their children to school and childcare providers if necessary, but to avoid undue pressure on the childcare spaces that are available the message is even if you are a key worker you should try to keep children at home if it is safe to do so e.g. if a partner can look after them.

Please follow and share DfE social media posts, particularly if you work in sectors that are likely to have a lot of key workers.

https://twitter.com/educationgovuk/status/1241843461986402306?s=12

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6647600319565967361/

https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/photos/a.317627041606420/2790465584322541/?type=1&theater

Please see the Government’s coronavirus hub on gov.uk for the latest advice and guidance on what you need to do.

Thank you for your help in aiding us to disseminate this important and urgent information.

Can You Help?

At Simply Doughnuts, we’re happy to play our part, and we hope other businesses will do the same. The more that companies and individuals help to spread the word, the quicker people will get the message and be ready to take advantage of the support that’s available to them. These measures are designed to minimise any lasting economic damage, so if firms need help, it’s important that they know how and where to get it.

If you’d like to help raise awareness about these business support measures, please visit the Industrial Strategy website, where you can get further information and access a free promotional toolkit.

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Sustainability Improvements

A little while ago, we worked with the environmental sustainability specialist, ENWORKS, to examine all aspects of our work, including everything from production operations to office tasks, procurement and logistics.

As a result of that work, we made a series of important changes.

We found new efficiencies in our manufacturing processes, which helped to reduce waste ingredients, water use and energy consumption, and we identified other energy saving opportunities with our lighting and heating systems.

We also found ways to reduce our delivery route mileage, and identified local suppliers in line with our ‘buy local’ policy.

The work was very useful, and helped us to maintain our drive towards continuous improvements and greater sustainability. However, another year has passed so we decided to take another look, this time with the help of the Burnley-based utility management specialist, Energy Finder.

We’re looking forward to an on-site meeting with energy consultant Tony Mercer later this month. It will only be the start of a detailed process, but we hope we’ll be able to identify new ways to reduce our environmental impacts and minimise waste.

Watch this space for further details.

long-life doughnuts at various stages of production

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Continuing Our Community Support

At Simply Doughnuts, we believe in supporting our local and regional communities. As our regular Twitter followers will know, we routinely sponsor the E3 North West Business Awards and the E3 Business Expo, both of which are dedicated to using business as a way to build bridges between people from different backgrounds and communities.

More recently, we’ve renewed our support for one of our favourite local charities, East Lancashire Hospice, by sponsoring its annual family fun-day: the World Gravy Wrestling Championships. This year, the Championships took place on Bank Holiday Monday (26th August.) As ever, they were very well attended and helped to raise money for an excellent cause.

East Lancs Hospice is a registered charity that supports people suffering from life limiting illnesses throughout Blackburn, Darwen, Accrington and Clitheroe. More information about its work can be found on its website – https://eastlancshospice.org.uk/ – including details of how to get involved as a sponsor / fund raiser.

For details of our other community support efforts, please see our Twitter page. https://twitter.com/simplydoughnuts.

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Simply Doughnuts Shortlisted for 2014 E3 Business Awards

Blackburn based doughnut manufacturer, Simply Doughnuts has been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2014 E3 Business Awards, which will be held at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton on 18th September.

The company, which manufacturers an array of mouth-watering flavoured doughnuts for wholesalers, retailers and professional caterers across the North West, was selected from amongst hundreds of nominees across the North West to become one of the four finalists for the prestigious New Business Start-up of the Year category.
Reacting to the announcement, the company’s Managing Director, Shiraz Master said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. This award acknowledges the hard work and commitment on behalf of the whole team.”

Speaking on behalf of 1 Events Media, which has developed and organised the awards, Managing Director Mubarak Chati said: “Last year marked the launch of the E3 Awards and we were very impressed then by the number and calibre of the nominees, but this year, we’ve seen even more. Perhaps it’s testament to a recovering economy or just to the relentless ‘can do’ spirit that characterises the North West, but whatever the reason, the quality of entrants has been superb.

“We’ve had hundreds of nominations, and they’ve come from right across the region: Manchester to Merseyside, Cumbria to Cheshire. It’s astonishing to witness the effort and ingenuity of so many individuals and organisations because so much commendable work has clearly been done. In compiling the shortlist, the Nominations Panel certainly had an unenviable task and for Simply Doughnuts to have secured a place in the final is an achievement of which it should be very proud.”

More information about the E3 Business Awards, including a full list of finalists, can be found at
www.e3businessawards.co.uk.