Belinda Williams, founder and owner of Yorkshire Provender, wins Hera Award at the NatWest everywoman Awards

PUBLISHED: 00:00 07 January 2015

Belinda Williams with her everywoman Hera Award Photo by Steve Dunlop

Belinda Williams with her everywoman Hera Award Photo by Steve Dunlop

(C)2014 {Steve Dunlop Photographer}, all rights reserved

A passion for home cooking wins an award for Yorkshire company

The woman behind one of the most successful food businesses in Yorkshire has been recognised for her entrepreneurial skills with a national award. Belinda Williams, founder and owner of Yorkshire Provender, was presented with the Hera Award at the NatWest everywoman Awards. ‘I am absolutely thrilled to have been chosen,’ said Belinda. ‘It is such an honour to have been picked from so many amazing female entrepreneurs and very humbling. All I have done is follow my passion and it is great to have been rewarded for that.’ The awards celebrate the success of businesses owned by women across the country applauding their achievements which help to inspire others.

Maxine Benson MBE, everywoman co-founder said: ‘It takes a bold and gutsy individual to start a business and today’s winners are all women with vision and determination, qualities that have contributed to their success. Some have businesses that are household names, others will achieve that recognition in the future. All are joined by a common goal to succeed and to inspire. They not only fly the flag for British business, but are role models for future generations of entrepreneurs.’

Yorkshire Provender started life as a catering company but diversified into creating a range of soups to generate revenue during slow winter months and now has a turnover of £3million. Yorkshire Provender’s customers include Waitrose, Ocado, premium Co-op stores, Tesco, Booths and numerous independent food halls and farm shops. The brand has been a huge success, eclipsing the turnover of the catering company from which it grew. Its range has since expanded to include sauces and meal pots and last year Belinda published her first book Delicious Soups.

‘My mission is to make and sell absolutely delicious food, as good as the best of homemade,’ added Belinda. ‘My recipes are based on classic British flavours, with my own twist and lots of fresh herbs.

‘Our Yorkshire provenance is core to who we are, and vitally important to our success – with a name like Yorkshire Provender, consumers are prepared to trust a real brand more than something dreamt up in a faceless corporation.

‘We source ingredients from local suppliers as much as possible – we buy herbs from a York grower and cheeses from Wensleydale Creamery. We try to use seasonal ingredients that our consumers would use if making soup themselves at home.

‘We are now about to embark on a massive expansion – doubling our capacity, employing many more people and developing even more delicious products but staying true to our principles; it is a challenging but exciting time for us and a fantastic time to have been recognised for what we do!’

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