Loyalty and local produce could be a winning combo
WHEN Katie Taylor set up her empire, she was determined to create a business where she could exercise all of her interests.
So, when the businesswoman launched Drewton's, this is exactly what she did.
The South Cave-based Drewton's Estate is home to Katie's upmarket farm shop and stylish five-star cottages, with the added benefit of being ideally placed in the picturesque East Yorkshire countryside.
Katie broke away from her family's West Yorkshire textiles and carpet business to follow her own dreams and create a flourishing business on the Drewton's Estate.
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She took the brave move to sell her house in Harrogate and moved to the estate – which is owned by her parents – with her two sons, and commuted to the West Yorkshire businesses in between helping with the restoration work on the farm.
After hard work and determination, she's now created a successful business comprising her farm shop, five-star cottages and kitchen – where customers can dine.
Katie said: "I've always been very interested in food produce, cooking and event organising, so when I set up Drewton's, it was all about combining all of these interests into one business."
After thorough research into the industry, once the wheels were in motion, Katie developed a strong team, which now consists of 48 people. She has also got a few apprentices working for her.
Katie said: "The apprentices absolutely love it.
"They are young and absorb the information very quickly and I will look at taking on more apprentices in the future."
Katie is committed to reducing food miles and sources the vast majority of the food and drink products on sale in the shop from a network of about 200 Yorkshire food producers, growers and suppliers.
She works closely with more than 40 other Yorkshire businesses, which supply her with everything from marketing and design to accountancy services.
She said: "Using local produce is really what we are about – 85 per cent of our produce is sourced locally."
Her commitment to the region's food providers has also spurred the businesswoman to get involved with the community, taking part in charity events on a regular basis.
Katie said: "I think perseverance and having a really good team has got me to where I am today. Loyal customers and suppliers has really helped, too."
Not afraid of looking for a challenge, Katie said she will continue to develop Drewton's.
She said: "I've got plans to enhance the deli and baking side.
"We are really passionate about what we do and that does seem to rub off on our customers.
"It is a very hard job but I do love it."
As the business celebrates its success, it has now been nominated in this year's Mail, News & Media Business Awards in three categories – Medium Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year and Start-Up Business of the Year.