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Wick wholesaler is crowned top business

By Will Clark

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Caithness and Sutherland Business of the Year recipient David Sutherland (right), of Sutherland Brothers, pictured with sponsor Eric Baijal, of Wick’s BBM Solicitors.
Caithness and Sutherland Business of the Year recipient David Sutherland (right), of Sutherland Brothers, pictured with sponsor Eric Baijal, of Wick’s BBM Solicitors.

A CAITHNESS wholesale company which has been in operation for over 120 years has been named as the top business in the north Highlands.

Sutherland Brothers in Wick was crowned the Caithness and Sutherland Business of the Year at the inaugural Highland Business Awards.

The company, which was first established in 1892, has developed and expanded to become the premier wholesaler in the Highlands, employing over 40 people.

Managing director David Sutherland said the firm was honoured to become the first recipient of the award, saying it was an indicator of the high quality of service it offers its customers.

"We are really proud to have received the award as I have to admit it was unexpected," he said.

"We beat off some excellent competition in the form of Reids of Caithness and Natural Retreats.

"This will help our image and credibility when meeting with new customers and will enable us to help our business drive ahead.

"We are employing more people and our turnover is increasing rapidly so it is a really good time for the business."

Earlier this year, Sutherland Brothers also launched a new arm of the company in the form of Strathnaver Wines which supplies drinks to the hotel and restaurant industry across Scotland. It established a sales team in Inverness and employed more staff at its depot in Wick.

The Highland Business Awards, which was organised by the Inverness Chamber of Commerce and Scottish Provincial Press – publisher of the Caithness Courier and John O’Groat Journal – saw the finalists gather at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness as part of Highland Business Week.

Springfield Properties enjoyed a double success, taking home the overall Highland Business of the Year and Outstanding Performing Business (with 25 or more employees) titles.

The family firm, which was established in Elgin, has major housing projects in the pipeline in Aviemore and Nairn but has interests all over Scotland.

Dingwall-headquartered TEFL Org UK, which recruits people to teach English overseas, won the Outstanding Performing Business award for firms with less than 25 staff.

Husband-and-wife team Joe and Jennifer Hallwood, who met while teaching in Greece, set up the firm just five years ago and now employ 10 people in Ross-shire.

IRN Security won Most Promising New Business, Cairngorm Windows was judged Best Family Business and Kingsmills Hotel’s Craig Ewan received the Best Local Hero award.

Cromarty seafood firm Coast & Glen Ltd won the Inverness-shire and Ross-shire Business of the Year.

Ian Downey, of the European Space Agency, was the keynote speaker with MFR breakfast host and SPP columnist Nicky Marr the compere.

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