Family-owned Pelam Foods proves to be a recession buster!

A Buckinghamshire family owned and run business has won a major export award for a second time, and has shrugged off the impact of one of Britain's worst economic slumps by doubling its export earnings to worldwide markets over six years.

The remarkable story of Chesham-based Pelam Foods Limited, a small food and drink exporter, is recognised today (21 April) by the Queen's Award for Enterprise, which has acknowledged the company's continuous achievement in international trade with a second honour.

The firm won its first Queen's Award for international trade in 2005.

Pelam Foods owner and Managing Director Colin Lambourne commented: "We are all absolutely delighted by the news and this recognition is rich reward for all of our hard work. A Queen's Award for Enterprise is the most prestigious corporate accolade that a British business can win, so to receive two is very special for us.

"We have achieved remarkable growth over the past 10 years, which continues today in the teeth of the severe global recession. It shows that there are still strong, successful businesses in the UK that are contributing significantly to the economy at a time when it needs it most."

Pelam Foods provides a tailored export service for many of Britain's largest food and drink manufacturers. The company focuses on developing specific markets for its customers and provides a cost-efficient way for large UK businesses to reach smaller international markets by outsourcing their export departments.

Colin and his wife Janice launched Pelam Foods on the kitchen table of their home in Amersham in 1989, exporting a wide range of food and drink products mainly to the European market.

At the time, Colin worked for a major foods company but felt he could establish his own business and make better use of his experience and expertise.

"It was something of a gamble at the time for both of us," explained Colin. We had a growing family with the usual financial commitments, but I felt intuitively that I could do better building my own business than working for someone else."

His gamble paid off handsomely. Since their first year, when they made a small profit, the business has grown year-on-year and in 2008/9 revenues were £7.2m with a 239% growth over the past 10 years.

Today Pelam Foods exports products to 50 countries all over the world. In 2009 its main markets were western Europe, Scandinavia, Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Middle East, Hong Kong/China, Far East, Australia, South Africa and North America.

Colin's two sons, Paul and Thomas, have now joined their parents in the business as directors. After years of running their company from home, Pelam Foods moved to dedicated offices at the Mead Business Centre in Chesham In 2005.