Quality products and first class service are the key factors which have led to a small family-run business in Ingoldisthorpe gaining one of the most coveted awards in the borough.
Anglia Log Cabins, which produces buildings ranging from shepherd’s huts to fully fitted classrooms and commercial buildings, were winners of the Customer Care category in the 2014 Mayor’s Awards for Business.
The business is run by three brothers, Eddie, Martin and Matthew Herbert, who are all directors, and also employs Martin’s sons, Keiran and Aaron. Eddie’s wife, Donna, is the company secretary.
Said Eddie: “It all started just over ten years ago as a weekend business which I was literally running from my bedroom and has become a firm which now employs five people. We started out by converting caravan pitches and building log cabins at Pentney Lakes and it has gone on from there.”
Nearly 80 per cent of the business’s work is building log cabins to use as environmentally friendly classrooms at schools, with the first one built close to home at Ingoldisthorpe Church of England Primary School in 2006. This was followed by another building at the site in 2008.
“Other schools really liked it and saw what a good idea it was and approached us to carry out similar projects. We have now built rooms at around 20 schools in Norfolk, Essex and South Yorkshire,” said Eddie.
Letters of appreciation signed by school pupils happy in their new classrooms are on display at the firm’s office in Lynn Road.
Commercial buildings have also proved popular, an example of which is the nearby visitor centre and tea room at Snettisham Park, a working farm. The project was completed in 2011 and was an instant success.
Residential log cabins have also been built, including two storey buildings at Pentney Lakes, and Anglia Log Cabins, which employs sub contractors, takes care of all the associated works, such as plumbing, electrics and internal fittings. The business also makes summerhouses, barbecue huts and other smaller units.
Face-to-face service is an important factor and Eddie makes a point of going on site, meeting people, helping them to work through their ideas before using the services of a local architect to draw up the designs. The firm imports its materials from a factory in Estonia.
“We always work with our customers and accommodate their needs. If, for example, we are at a school and the work may be noisy, we carry it out after school hours. We always make sure the customer is happy,” said Eddie.
The Mayor’s Award has already had an impact on the business since it was presented in March.
“I have had positive feedback from customers, who have said that we thoroughly deserved it. The award is certainly going to help us to raise our profile,” said Eddie.
His said plans for the business are for steady growth year on year. “We will always concentrate on quality work and quality care rather than quantity,” he said.
Last weekend the team was at Knights Hill farm shop where it was displaying some of its summerhouses and provided a barbecue for visitors.