Waverley businesses gathered at the Lythe Hill Hotel, Haslemere last Friday evening for the first Waverley Business, Innovation and Growth (BIG) Awards.
Over 170 sponsors, finalists and guests watched a series of short videos of each of the 24 finalists, as they ate a delicious three course meal.
With bated breath, each category winner was announced and awarded a fabulous crystal trophy, champagne and certificate. Finalists also felt like winners as they accepted their own trophies, recognising their achievements.
Representing Cranleigh, the Chamber President Award was won by Christmas tree grower Hans Christmas Andersen.
Hans Christmas Andersen is a family owned grower, wholesaler and retailer of Christmas trees growing trees for over 20 years. They now sell over 80,000 fresh, homegrown Christmas trees every year, 6,500 of which are sold at Santa Fir Farm near Cranleigh under their new brand name “Hans Christmas Andersen”.
In 1998 the family rented their first small plantation of five acres near Godalming, where they planted 12,000 trees. Today there are 835,000 trees planted across 12 sites in the South East of England.
Their wholesale customers, garden centres and retail outlets, are based mostly in the south east of England. Their aim is to supply them with fresh trees with as low a carbon footprint as possible.
Their well-managed plantations enhance the countryside, offering locals a wonderful area to view and, where footpaths cross our plantations, amazing walks.
Their retail business under their new brand name “Hans Christmas Andersen”, selling trees out of Santa Fir Yard near Cranleigh, has evolved into a wonderful family experience, with extra attractions such as the resident reindeer, local produce market and Santa’s Grotto. In Christmas 2018 Hans Christmas Anderson will open a new local retail outlet at the beautiful Surrey Wildlife Trust site at Newlands Corner.
On two occasions they have had the privilege of supplying No 10 Downing Street with its tree and wreath and last year we were chosen to supply the Foreign Office with their tree. A privilege that enabled us to bring a successful Cranleigh business to the attention of the PM, The Foreign Office and their staff.
The Waverley BIG Awards was the first project led by the newly formed coalition of the four Chambers of Commerce in Cranleigh, Farnham, Godalming and Haslemere.
Their shared aim is to encourage businesses to locate here, to retain local companies and help them grow, to promote Waverley as a ‘the’ place to do business south of London and to market the many skilled employment opportunities on residents’ doorsteps.
Photo courtesy of Remarkable Studio.