James T. Blakeman and Cohas been highly commended in the Manufacturing Excellence category of the Midlands Family Business Awards for 2018.
It is another impressive achievement for the business which was founded in 1953 by James Blakeman whose son and daughter Phil and Sue are still leading the firm.
The company, recognised as one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of sausage and meat products, was up against stiff competition at the awards which bring together the cream of the region’s business world.
Phil Blakeman, managing director of the Newcastle-under-Lyme company, said: “Whilst we are obviously disappointed not to have won the title itself, we recognise it is still a terrific achievement to receive the ‘highly commended’ award.
“We are proud of the fact that the Blakeman family are still leading the business and we continue to go from strength-to-strength. But the family element is much more than just about us at this business.
“We have lots of people who all have family members on our workforce and for me that embodies what a family business is all about. We all pull together as one big family.”
After the second world war, during which he had served in the RAF, Phil’s father James spent a short time as manufacturing supervisor with a pork butcher in Leek, Staffordshire.
In 1953, having picked up what he needed to know about the business, he decided to set up on his own. He started small, taking a mobile refreshment bar in partnership with his brother-in-law and, at the same time, worked as a freelance sausage-meat manufacturer.
From those beginnings, the business has grown and developed to its current position where it has a multi-million pound annual turnover and employs around 240 people.
Phil added: “This year we were named as the Manufacturer of the Year at the Staffordshire Chambers’ 2018 Business Awards so to follow that up with success in the Midlands Family Business Awards 2018 is great for everyone associated with our company - especially as this is the 65th anniversary of my dad starting it all off.”