10 Buckinghamshire businesses share what they have in store for 2014

PUBLISHED: 13:49 24 January 2014 | UPDATED: 13:49 24 January 2014

Award winninng architects Hinton Cook are looking forward to the completion of some beautiful family homes

Award winninng architects Hinton Cook are looking forward to the completion of some beautiful family homes


From sole traders to well established companies, Bucks is home to thousands of businesses which support the county’s thriving economy. Here Sandra Smith speaks to ten of the best to find out what they have in store

The Cottage Bookshop


A business that doesn’t own a computer and which only accepts cash or cheques may not appear to have much of a future. But given Penn’s Cottage Bookshop status as a village institution, not to mention its worldwide reputation, it is, on the contrary, a success story. As Manager Liz Tebbutt, confirms: “We have 55,000 sought after second hand books with new stock arriving every week. People love the atmosphere and we don’t mark up a lot, which is what customers like.” And plans for 2014? “To carry on being friendly and personable; we’re here to help.”


Apple Orchard


In an Aladdin’s cave of a building in West Wycombe, Huw Meyrick is eagerly anticipating the next 12 months. “Our new website will enable customers to buy online. We’ll also offer a gift wrapping service for sending presents and will gradually bring in more products.” The business began in 1988 and still prides itself on “good quality, old fashioned service.” Their new venture is tantamount to opening a second shop, providing the Apple Orchard with a wider audience, and customers with another medium from which to purchase quality furniture, gifts and home ware.


Dakini Leathercraft


Silke Stahl’s passion for leathercraft is reflected in the innovative, bespoke designs she creates. In a listed farm building aside the Grand Union Canal this sole trader produces custom made goods such as belts, handbags and accessories. And although she is keen to develop other uses of Vegetable Tan Leather, this isn’t her only plan for the year ahead. “I’d like to establish a High Street presence in Chesham,” she explains, “to give the general public more insight and accessibility to the arts. Perhaps even expand my craft and food fair in the area, too.”


Hester Clarke


“Exciting products, someone with impeccable customer service skills to join our sales team and building an e-commerce website,” are just some of the ambitious 2014 projects lined up for Aylesbury’s independent fine jeweller, Hester Clarke. Managing Director Julia Clarke, adds: “We are closely involved in the lives of our customers, helping them to celebrate the big occasions in their lives: births, engagements, marriages and anniversaries of all types. Having the right staff is essential in making the magic happen.” This family firm may have been in business for decades, but their approach remains as fresh as ever.


Beautifully Different


When Kim Curle opened a tiny shop in Winslow in 2007 it wasn’t long before success drove her to larger premises. And she’s still keen to expand. “We are an independent retailer of ladies fashion accessories and in 2014 I’ll probably be increasing our range of clothing. I’d also like to see continued growth, possibly through a second shop. It’s all down to finding the right location.” This charming market town, with an evolving customer base and growing tourism, is the perfect spot for such a stylish business. No wonder Beautifully Different looks set for another successful year.


Dulieu Associates


Such has been the ongoing success of this design and installation of warehouse and office interiors firm that it now employs sub contractors nationwide while covering a range of commercial environments, enabling companies to make maximum use of space and storage options. So what are their plans for 2014? “To reinvent our website in order to secure a better internet presence,” Michelle Scevity announces from their Prestwood premises. After joining her father’s company in 1979, Michelle now runs DA with her husband, Ralph, who focuses on design and the customer interface side of the business.


BP Collins


Based in Gerrards Cross, this busy firm of solicitors grew 11% last year. But that hasn’t stopped them setting more goals. Chief Executive, Karl Wingfield: “We will develop our business and invest in our own people, to give them objectives, develop their skills and qualifications.” And this is not just an in-house approach. “We have a deep sense of obligation to our customers and in 2014 we want to be more inclusive and user friendly; to encourage people to contact us earlier and be aware they can talk to us without it being a chargeable transaction.”


Terrick Beef


Geoff Brunt is a farmer. He is also a man who takes the opportunity to sell his award winning beef directly to his loyal public. “Customers are very important to us,” confirms his wife, Heather, who looks after the administrative side of the business, “Geoff likes to talk about what he does and meet the people who buy his food; we want to keep them satisfied in 2014.” Based in the hamlet of Terrick, the shop is open once a month and visitors benefit from regional food sourced from local producers, including chicken, chocolate and Mary Berry sauces.




“Sleep is an emotive journey and we will continue to educate people. A good mattress is at the heart of a good night’s sleep,” declares Hypnos Marketing Director, Chris Ward. The Princes Risborough based company has a Royal Warrant to its credit along with a growing overseas market. “In 2014,our sales forecast is strong and we are looking for more growth,” he says.

The company’s Royal Comfort Collection will shortly be in the showrooms, offering a reminder that mattresses should be renewed every few years.


Hinton Cook


“2014 should see the completion of two large, exciting family homes,” enthuses Practice Manager Janine Cook. “We also want to look at marketing, following up leads and reacquainting ourselves with clients past and present.” For 28 years a handful of employees has created new designs and reinvented buildings with the Milton Keynes based award winning architects, which attracts customers from a variety of sectors, combining an holistic approach with a fusion of traditional materials. Future projects will vary both in scale and type, ranging from barn conversions to commercial design, and education to historic building renovation.

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