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Past Winners 2017

2018 winners


Hawkshead Relish show support for family business in Cumbria

Hawkshead Relish are one of Cumbria’s most recognisable (and delicious) brands. Their jars and bottles line the shelves of our cupboards and fridges and they are truly a family business Cumbria can be proud of. We were delighted when Maria agreed to be a judge for the Cumbria Family Business Awards and her insight and experience in running a family business was invaluable.

Hawkshead Relish have been making their handmade award winning Relishes, Pickles and Preserves for the past 19 years, initially to supply their café in Hawkshead with a few extra jars to sell to their customers.  It was the disaster of Foot & Mouth that became the turning point, without any customers and on the very brink of financial ruin, they were forced to diversify quickly and build the “Relish” brand from scratch.

Today, they make around 3,000 jars a day all still by hand, using traditional techniques and recipes that Mark creates often using local ingredients wherever possible.  With a small workforce of around 25 people, they send products as far away as Japan, Australia and the USA as well as to over 500 stockists throughout the UK.

Mark and Maria were jointly awarded MBE’s in 2011 in recognition of their contribution to the food industry in Cumbria.  Since then they have gone on to help and provide advice for many small businesses starting up and especially in helping them to start their export journey. Hawkshead Relish have shown their support for other family businesses in Cumbria by backing the Retail and Wholesale category, an area they know very well indeed.

Mark Whitehead MBE MD, said

“The family is very much at the heart of our business. Not only with our daughters and Maria’s brother in the business, but with the rest of the team. We know everyone and their families, it’s a whole community”

As with many family businesses putting something back into the community is at the heart of their family values. It’s this commitment to the community that sets family businesses apart. Hawkshead Relish support many local charities and events throughout the year, with a special place for Sunbeams Music Therapy in Penrith who provide the most amazing therapeutic music sessions for disabled children and adults. Hawkshead Relish created a bespoke Private Label Marmalade for them to sell and help raise funds.  The couple recently attended the opening of the new Sunbeams Music Centre at Redhill’s in Penrith with HRH The Countess of Wessex – to find out more please go to


Our Sponsors

A huge thank you to all our sponsors for the Cumbria Family Business Awards 2019