Last week the Bristol business community celebrated an exceptional home-grown success story, when Arthur David, Food with Service Ltd was named the best Family Business and crowned overall Business of the Year in the BristolLive & Bristol Post Business Awards 2019. 

As sponsor of the Family Business of the Year category I had the privilege of sitting on the judging panel. There is much about its almost-60-year story that makes the company worthy of recognition. 

The third-generation firm supplies fresh produce, fine foods, frozen goods, dairy and bakery products to customers in many parts of the South West and Wales from its headquarters in Chew Valley and ‘ingredients hub’ in Bristol. From roots as a Bristol green grocer, Arthur David founded his own company in 1962. Arthur’s personal drive to serve customers led to an expanding product range and innovations, including being the first in the region to offer prepared vegetables. 

Exceptional customer service continues to be a core value to this day, embraced by more than 500 employees in a business that turns over more than £50m. Achieving sustained double-digit growth and a healthy profit, this success story is an exemplar of strong leadership. 

While octogenarian Arthur is chairman and continues to work in the business, the strong leadership team embraces family and non-family members. Jon Evans and Phil David, Arthur’s son, are joint-MDs. 

A commitment to Customer Service, Quality, Excellence, Teamwork and Respect are the five core values that underpin and steer the business. “Leave it with us” is the mantra that is lived every day by a team that is fully engaged in going the extra mile. Jon even has the phrase tattooed on his arm! With catering customers relying upon their produce in care homes, hospitals, schools, hotels and restaurants, and events from the Ryder Cup to the G8 Summit, excellence in customer service is at the heart of the Arthur David business. 

This is beautifully illustrated by their all-weather emergency plan, which includes their own snow plough, gritting vehicle and fleet of 4x4 vehicles to ensure they can reach the most vulnerable people catered for by their care sector customers. Nothing will stop the team getting the very freshest products delivered. 

Watching Arthur, Jon, Phil and their colleagues celebrating their highly deserved awards as they took to the stage, it’s clear that winning together means so much to all of them. We congratulate them! 

QuoLux, the leadership and strategy specialists, sponsor the Family Business of the Year category in the BristolLive & Bristol Post Business Awards.

This post first appeared in the Bristol Post Column, July 2019

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