The Queens Award is the Icing on the Cake for Ashington Company Culpitt Ltd, a leading supplier of cake decorations, which has received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its continued export success over several years.
Culpitt was founded in 1921 and moved to the North East in 1947. In Ashington, the family owned business found a capable work force that helped build a competitive business which is now one of the largest employers in the area.
In 1998 Culpitt was acquired by DecoPac Inc., of Minneapolis, USA. This led to continued investment into the business, which allowed the acquisition of Sugarfayre to take place in 2009 and the development of the Culpitt Food site, both on Wansbeck Industrial Estate. Growth has been strong since the purchase, especially in the last three years where the company has seen export sales increase by 115%.
Managing Director Tom Wylie commented: “The winning of this award is a massive achievement for the whole Team. We have concentrated on a strategy based around innovation and excellent customer service. We are now investing heavily in logistics and IT to further improve upon our current performance.
Culpitt Success Built with the “Common” Touch
The workforce has been the foundation of the company’s success with generations of families working at boththe Culpitt and Sugarfayre Sites.
One such family are The Commons. Carl Common, and his son David, daughter Kerryn are all employed along with Carl’s brother Wayne. They have all helped produce sugar decorations and cake boards for a number of years, while his mother, Joan, worked for Culpitt in the 1960’s. Carl was part of the team that produced cake boards that have been used on a number of Royal Wedding Cakes across the years! Carl said: "Culpitt has changed a lot in my time here, but it has always been a major employer in the area and has provided job security for many people over the years."
In 2012 we will launch our new E-Commerce website. This will make the ordering of our goods much more convenient for our customers. The site will not only allow orders to be placed outside of our work hours but will also simplify the customer ordering experience. This focus on our customers and their needs will undoubtedly put us in a strong position for the future.
Culpitt has prided itself on its innovation programme that includes several hundred new product introductions each year. They also hold a number of patents on their manufacturing processes. These not only give a competitive advantage but ensure that a unique offering will be maintained going forward.
A BRC grade A accreditation achieved on each of the manufacturing sites in Ashington makes Culpitt superbly placed to look after their customers’ needs at home and abroad.
Mr Wylie remarked: “With the support of our parent company DecoPac, a clear business direction and the willingness of our staff to embrace change, the Culpitt business has been rejuvenated in recent years.
This award gives us the opportunity to celebrate our collective achievement, and endorses the benefit of embracing change to meet the challenges that will inevitably come”.
Councillor Jeff Reid, leader of Northumberland County Council added: "This prestigious award is excellent news for Culpitt. The company has seen continued growth and success and it is great to have a ‘world beating’ employer in this part of Northumberland. The council has been pleased to provide support for Culpitt over a number of years – including help in securing grants for new equipment and improvements to their premises – as well as offering other advice and guidance. I wish many congratulations to everyone concerned."
For more Information on Culpitt or Sugarfayre limited please call either Tom Wylie or Steve Bilton on 01670 814545.