BEST OF THE WEST: DESIGNABILITY, THATCHERS & BRITISH CORNER SHOP

Welcome to the third in our monthly series of blog posts celebrating the very Best of the West.

Once again, we profile three businesses – all with their roots in the South West of England – that have caught our eye for the positive headlines they’ve been making.

DESIGNABILITY

Designability is a Bath-based charity whose engineering and design experts create “life-changing assistive technologies”.

Described as an “ultra-altruistic tech charity”, their biggest success story to date is the Wizzybug, a wonderfully designed children’s mobility chair developed following extensive research into the challenges that children with mobility issues face.

Jessica Ridgers, part of the design team at Designability, delivered a fascinating talk at a Tedx event in Bath recently on the importance and challenges of creating independence through design.

It is well worth checking out, as is this Huffington Post article about a little girl called Tia and the positive impact that her Wizzybug has had on her life.

THATCHERS

Based on Myrtle Farm, in the rural community of Winscombe in North Somerset, the family-run cider maker Thatchers is gathering a growing legion of fans around the world.

The company has been up to so much lately that we just had to give them a shout out.

Not only have they installed a state-of-the-art canning line at Myrtle Farm – meaning all packaging operations are now under one roof at Myrtle Farm – but they’ve gone and launched Stan’s, a new craft cider range named after current managing director Martin Thatcher’s grandfather Stan.

They’ve also partnered with drinks writer Suzy Atkins to roll out a cider-pairing guide, advising cider lovers what foods work best with different variants.

This phenomenal business embodies what truly traditional cider making in the modern age is all about. It continues to go from strength to strength under Martin’s guidance, and we wish them every success.

READ MORE: Why Martin Thatcher – the boss of Thatchers – is a cider man to the core

BRITISH CORNER SHOP

You know sometimes, when you see a business idea and think to yourself, “I really wish I’d thought of that!”. No doubt many people have come across British Corner Shop and pondered exactly this.

Through its e-commerce site, the company exports classic British food and drink brands to expats and Britophiles around the world.

We’re including it in this month’s Best of the West as the business recently gained Royal recognition for its exporting achievements. His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent visited the company’s Bristol offices to present them with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade.

They were accompanied by Dame Janet Trotter DBE, who described the Queen’s Awards as “the Oscars for the UK business awards”. Thank goodness they gave it to the right recipients then!

We’re sure there are many happy Brits abroad tucking into bacon sarnies with HP sauce who, like us, send their warm congrats to the British Corner Shop team.