Wetherby-based beer business toasts success

Mark Roberts and Chris France from Beer Hawk in Wetherby

7:01am 10th December 2017

A Wetherby-based online craft and speciality beer retailer is celebrating after winning Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year at the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Beer Hawk, which was set up by Mark Roberts and Chris France, fought off some tough competition, with more than 1,000 businesses entering the awards across a wide range of categories.

Now in their fifth year, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards recognise the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs, rather than just their financial success.

Mark Roberts said: "To win the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award is a huge honour and we are delighted to be recognised in this way.

"We've been able to build such an amazing team of people, who have contributed so much to the growth of Beer Hawk.

"One of the best things about the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards is that all of the judges are entrepreneurs themselves, so to be recognised by some of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs is somewhat surreal, but an incredible feeling."

In 2012, Mark and Chris left senior positions at Laithwaite's Wine and Proctor & Gamble respectively, after realising that consumers couldn't easily get access to craft beers to drink at home.

Riding on the craft beer revolution, Mark and Chris both remortgaged their homes, dipped into their savings and launched Beer Hawk.

It's gone from a small start-up with only 250 products and three members of staff to the UK's largest consumer beer delivery platform, with more than 1,000 products and 60 employees.

Francesca James, founder of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: "The judges this year have had an incredibly hard job in narrowing down winners from such an impressive shortlist.

"Each and every one of the winning entries has made a huge impact on entrepreneurship in their region and the wider UK economy.

"Not only have we had more entries this year than ever before, but the standard of entries has been amazing.

"We hope that winning an award will help give these entrepreneurs the recognition they thoroughly deserve."

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