Allum & Sidaway Jewellers scoop top prizes at the Dorset Business Awards

WHAT A NIGHT: 2012 Dorset Business Award winners celebrate at the Lighthouse in Poole

WHAT A NIGHT: 2012 Dorset Business Award winners celebrate at the Lighthouse in Poole

First published in Video Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Features & entertainments writer

A JEWELLERY store chain that began life as a clock repair service in a shed has scooped double honours at the Dorset Business Awards.

Allum & Sidaway Jewellers of Dorchester won the Princecroft Willis Family Business Award and the Retail Excellence Award, sponsored by the Dolphin Shopping Centre.

Managing director Jason Allum collected the award on behalf of the firm at the awards ceremony at the Lighthouse in Poole.

The company has its head office and a shop in Dorchester, and other shops in Salisbury, Gillingham, Ringwood and Shaftesbury.

Operations manager Sheila Hussey said: “It was brilliant to get two awards.

“This is the first time we’ve entered.

“We were thrilled to win one.

“We were told that we were only the fourth company to have been up for more than one award and to win them both was incredible.

“For a little independent company to have done this is amazing.”

The double whammy of awards rounds off a year of celebration for Allum & Sidaway, which reached its 70th birthday this year.

The jeweller also won a South Wiltshire business award and Blackmore Vale Business of the Year.

The company was started by Mr Allum’s great-grandfather in 1943, who began it as a clock repair service in his shed.

In 1967 the firm opened a store in Hardye Arcade, Dorchester, and then moved to South Street in 1997.

A new shop in Ringwood was opened this year.

Mrs Hussey said she thinks the high standards set by the company are responsible for its success.

She added: “We endeavour to exceed our customers’ expectations every time they come into the store.

“We try to give the best quality service we can and our customers appreciate that and come back to us again and again.”

The awards were attended by more than 530 guests and were hosted by actress and impressionist Debra Stephenson.

Judge Nick Love, head of Family Business at Princecroft Willis, says: “Jason Allum, great-grandson of the founder and his skilled team excel in customer service and are focused on the mission statement ‘to inspire customers and exceed all expectations’.

“The family has been tremendously successful in developing the business from a high street shop to five exceptional stores.

“The business is a worthy winner of the 2012 Princecroft Willis Family Business Award.”

Peter Scott, chief executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “The awards evening was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Dorset and recognise the achievements of some of its leading businesses, both large and small, that are doing outstanding work, helping others and giving something back to the community.”

Apprenticeship Training Award sponsored by Superior – Scissors Franchise Company Bournemouth
Business Engagement with the Community Award, sponsored by J.P. Morgan – Norfolk Royale Hotel, Bournemouth
Business Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Barclays – Amanda Jenner, My Carry Potty, Bournemouth
Dorset Tourism Award, sponsored by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Liz Lean PR – Harbour Hotels, Christchurch
Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Bournemouth University – Paul Woods from Astute Ltd, Bournemouth
Hays PA of the Year Award – Annie Willats from Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC)
KPMG and Lloyds Bank Company of the Year Award – LV=, Bournemouth
Nuffield Health Excellence in Customer Service Award – LV=, Bournemouth

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