Aspall Cyder - Cider and Vinegar

MD, Des Smith wins Director of the Year at the EADT Business Awards 2015

10th July 2015


The East Anglian Daily Times Business Awards is an annual celebration of Suffolk businesses. In 2014 we won Family Business of the Year as well as overall Business in the Year and this year we returned to tell the Aspall story as well as to pick up another award.

The most striking thing about attending the East Anglian Business Awards was to discover the range and diversity of Suffolk businesses. We may all be familiar with the big brand names and large employers like BT and EDF Energy but what about Ipswich based Security Foiling which produces equipment to stamp holograms on to documents and plastic cards like security passes, used internationally on Argentina’s National ID cards and by Saudi Arabian embassies for visas. 

Or MEL Aviation, a total engineering solution provider to the aerospace, defence and industrial sectors across the globe. The evening celebrated these most innovative and successful business from small family firms to the big firms like Muntons Malt who won Business of the Year.

In 2014 Aspall scooped both Family Business of the Year and Business of the Year and so this year brothers, Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild were invited back to kick off the event by telling the Aspall story. Barry and Henry talked about the how when they relaunched the cider business in 2003 they aimed to punch above their weight, how they aimed to build trust in their brand by above all else producing a quality product. The feedback during the evening was overwhelming with many people commenting how their speech was inspirational and the highlight of the event.

“Des demonstrates an unassuming but firm management style and comes across as calm and quietly driven"

17 Awards were presented during the evening and Aspall found itself in the limelight again as MD, Des Smith scooped Director of the Year. Des joined us as finance director in 2008 and was appointed managing director in 2011. During this time he has helped develop Aspall into the leading premium quality apple juice, cider and vinegar producer in the UK, being instrumental in restructuring the business and achieving growth in turnover of 300% alongside a £10million programme of investment. 

The judges said: “Des demonstrates an unassuming but firm management style and comes across as calm and quietly driven. “He is keen to protect the existing brands whilst, at the same time, developing new markets both in the UK and abroad. He appreciates and understands the manufacturing process whilst also recognising new commercial opportunities. He and his team also have a clear plan for the next five years.”