Last week (15th – 19th May 2023) Gorvins Solicitors sponsored the North West leg of the Family Business Road Trip 2023 organised by Paul Andrews from Family Business United.

This is always one of the most enjoyable weeks of the year for those involved, getting out of the office and getting to meet and sit down with some amazing Family Businesses to hear their unique stories.

The week started with Gorvins head of Wills, Trust and Probate, Michael Smoult, heading out to visit Manchester based The Fine Bedding Company who are producing innovative products with a focus on sustainability and the environment. Things like a duvet made from 100% recycled plastic bottles that has an integrated cover and the whole lot can be washed and dried together – how easy does that make laundry day?

Michael then followed this up with a visit to Crewe based Mrs Darlington a second generation manufacturer of jams, pickles, curds and chutneys (including their world famous Lemon Curd). Today all new recipe creations are still overseen by Mrs Darlington herself. They also collaborate with other businesses including a Cheshire based gin manufacturer (Westwood distillery) who make a marmalade gin infused with Mrs Darlington’s marmalade!

On Wednesday it was Christian Mancier (a partner in the corporate/commercial team) who hit the road visiting HG Stephensons a Stockport based 5th generation catering supplies wholesaler, where Christian met their historian who published the book about their first 150 years in business, many of which were spent in the iconic Barton Arcade on Deansgate, Manchester before moving out to Stockport

Next up was a coffee and chat with William J Robinson from Robinsons Brewery talking about the UK’s productivity gap and sustainability. William is always a knowledgeable and insightful speaker and last week was no different.

The day ended with a trip to second generation Lasercutit meeting mum Sarah and her daughters Kenzie and Jessica. It was amazing to see the array of products manufactured there, ranging from stencils for helipads to high end catwalk fashion and lots in between.

Thursday was a trip out to Poynton to meet Matt Galloway from Galloways Printers. Their printing business has been around for over 150 years but today uses cutting edge technology. This helps the environment and results in a sustainable and carbon balanced business whilst maintaining the highest quality print.

Finally on Friday it was a very early start on the road over to Sheffield to visit William Whiteley & Sons a 12th generation family business founded in 1760. Here they manufacture the highest quality handmade and assembled scissors you can imagine. It was also an absolute pleasure to meet Andrew, star of this video entitled “The last hand grinder”, with Andrew giving a demonstration of how to hand grind a pair of scissors…an art that will sadly be lost when he retires (and he’s currently on 49 years’ service)!

Thank you to Paul Andrews for organising and to everyone we visited for their kind hospitality and sharing their absolutely amazing and fascinating stories which makes the Family Business sector such an important one here in the UK.

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