THE PKF Francis Clark Family Business Award is searching for Dorset’s most innovative, adaptable and successful family firm at this year’s Dorset Business Awards, organised by the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The award has previously recognised a prestigious list of winners from all over the county, from Christchurch to Burton Bradstock and Dorchester to Stalbridge. The current award holder, Hunt’s Foodservice Limited in Sherborne, can trace its origins back more than 100 years.

Five generations later, and with five family members directly involved in the business, the company is the largest independent wholesaler in the south west, providing chilled, dry, frozen goods and fresh meat.

Richard Hunt, managing director at Hunt’s Foodservice Ltd, said: “We were absolutely delighted to have won the award. My aunt, who is 95, worked for Hunt’s all of her working life and is still the company chairman, was very excited and we are just so pleased that our heritage and key family values have been recognised at such as prestigious event.

“Entering the Awards is one of the best ways to increase your local profile and a way to really tell your company’s story.”

Since winning the award, Hunt’s Foodservice has expanded its head office, partnered with local wholesaler Yeo Direct (part of the Yeo Valley group) and extended its range of locally produced chilled and organic products.

Nick Love, family business partner at PKF Francis Clark, said: “Some of the most successful businesses in the world are a family affair. Combining the rational world of business with the emotional world of family is a challenge that many Dorset companies excel at and we are looking forward to discovering the success stories of more Dorset family firms.”

Entrants should include details of:

* Financial performance of the business in the last three years

* Number of generations the business has survived

* Family involvement in the business in terms of numbers and generations

* Involvement with the local community

* Succession plans

* Uniqueness

Nominations from a customer, supplier or employee are welcomed, but the family business must submit the entry form.

In association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, the awards are backed by the south’s leading radio station Wave 105 and are free to enter. Entrants can submit an entry via The closing date for entry is Friday September 9. Entrants do not need to be a member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

For information about the awards, sponsorship opportunities or to reserve tickets for the gala dinner at the BIC on Thursday, November 24, please contact the DBA team on 01202 714800.

Sponsor profile: PKF Francis Clark

PKF Francis Clark know it is unusual to see the words “accountants” and “passion” in the same sentence but the firm have always looked at things differently because it is genuinely passionate about helping clients succeed – whether it’s building a better business, early retirement, or simply more time with the family.

PKF Francis Clark is a long standing leader in family business advice and has been heavily involved in a major initiative to boost family business growth in south western England.