Coming in all shapes and sizes, family businesses make up two-thirds of all businesses in the UK, according to the Institute for Family Business. These 4.8 million family-run businesses employ over 12 million people and generate a quarter of the UK’s entire economic revenue.
With so many family businesses across the UK, it can be difficult to stand out from the rest. But these 20 entrepreneurs are some of the most exciting family business entrepreneurs to watch in 2019.
Estelle & Douglas Lloyd – Azoomee
The married duo of Estelle and Douglas Lloyd are the founders of Azoomee, a multimedia platform that offers positive screen time and learning opportunities on mobile devices for children. They created the business after their middle daughter came across inappropriate content on YouTube and failed to a suitable platform that allowed their children to learn key computer skills in a safe environment.
Guy & Jo Schanschieff – Bambino Mio
Started in 1997, Guy and Jo Schanschieff are the founders of Bambino Mio, the world’s largest and most accessible reusable nappy brand. The husband and wife initially launched a reusable nappy laundry service in 1991 after learning of the industry during a trip to India, but started selling them instead when demand for laundry slowed. With more and more people becoming conscious of their impact on the environment, reusable nappies are becoming more and more popular.
Jeff & Chloe Smith – Big Moose
Jeff and Chloe Smith are the father and daughter team behind Big Moose, a non-profit business that aims to inspire people to live better, healthier and kinder lives and raise money for a range of charities. Making it a full family affair, mum Tania and daughter Tiffany also work in the organisation. What started with a climb up Kilimanjaro in 2010 that raised £15,000 is now a huge effort to raise a total of £1 million by 2020.
Marcus, Luke & Hugo Ellingham and Adam Holmes – Brother Film Co.
Marcus, Luke and Hugo Ellingham are the three brothers behind Brother Film Co, along with honorary brother Adam Holmes. Starting out filming self-confessed terrible skate videos on VHS in 1999, the team are now creating high-quality film and music for a range of clients. The brothers have created online and branded content, commercials, music videos and soundtracks for clients such as Red Bull, McLaren, National Geographic and Nike.
Alan & Gary Keery – Cereal Killer Cafe
Identical twins, Alan and Gary Keery, hit international headlines when they opened the world’s first cereal cafe in 2014. Despite criticism and advice that ‘no one would ever eat cereal after 10am’, Cereal Killer Cafe has continued to expand across the UK and internationally, with cafes in Dubai, Kuwait and Jordan, and more locations in the pipeline.
William Chase – Chase Distillery
The founder of Tyrrells crisps, William Chase, stumbled upon a small distillery producing potato vodka in the US in 2004, which sparked the idea to create a brand in the UK. Four years later, the first potatoes were ready to make the first batch and Chase Vodka was born. With sons Harry and James heavily involved in the running of the business, the family is now producing 10,000 bottles of vodka, gin and whiskey every week.
Brian & Leanne Crowther – Flower & White
Husband and wife, Brian and Leanne Crowther, are the founders of Flower & White, a range of quality Swiss-baked meringues. The pair expanded the range to include gluten-free, low-fat and vegetarian snack bars. Using only the highest quality ingredients, Flower & White have won countless awards and are sold from a range of independent farm shops, delis, garden centres, restaurants, pubs and hotels.
Andrew & Pranee Laurillard – Giggling Squid
Andrew and Pranee Laurillard are the husband and wife duo behind Giggling Squid, a quirky chain of restaurants serving unusual Thai flavour combination tapas dishes. They first pulled together their first Thai tapas menu in 2002 from the basement of a tiny fisherman’s cottage that became their Brighton restaurant. Now, with 30 restaurants across the south east of England, they are targeting 70 locations by 2022.
Robert Graham – Graham’s Family Dairy
A family story spanning three generations of Robert Grahams, Graham’s Family Dairy first started in 1939 as a simple milk farm. Now, with the third Robert Graham at the helm and his sister Carol overseeing marketing, it has skyrocketed in recent years and has been named Scotland’s biggest independent milk producer ahead of giant rival Lurpak.
Andrew and Debbie Keeble – Heck
Having sold their family sausage company in 2005, Andrew and Debbie Keeble vowed to keep it in the family when they launched their new sausage brand, Heck. After generating sales of more than £3 million in their first year, Andrew and Debbie took a back seat, leaving their children Ellie, Guy, Roddy and Jamie to lead the business. Five years later, Heck sausages are stocked in all major supermarkets and continues to grow in popularity.
Fran Vaughan & Veronica Vaughan – Ickle Bubba
Fran Vaughan and his wife Veronica are the founders of Ickle Bubba, a range of pushchairs, car seats and high chairs. They created the company’s first products after their child was born in 2011 and struggled to find a suitable pushchair. The pair are now targeting becoming the market-leading brand as well as rapid expansion in China and Europe.
Kevin & Kellie Bath – JimJams
Kevin and Kellie Bath quit City jobs and running another business to launch JimJams after noticing just how much sugar was in their children’s favourite chocolate spread. With their children and chief taste testers, Evie and Jack, JimJams is a range of healthier chocolate spread containing 83% less sugar than leading brands. It is now stocked by Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Holland & Barrett, Whole Foods and Ocado, and continues to grow in popularity across the UK.
Stacey & Jay Dennis – Love Layla Designs
Started by Stacey in 2014 while on maternity leave, Love Layla Designs is greetings card business known for its hilarious, cheeky and rude messages. Soon after, husband Jay joined to help grow the business and later brother-in-law Jonny, while all members of the team are related in some form. Growing a following on social media, Love Layla has gained a host of celebrity clients, including former Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis.
Lucy Buckingham – Lucy Bee
Lucy Bee is a range of natural, unprocessed food and beauty products created by Lucy Buckingham and her family. Best known for its range of coconut oils championed by The Body Coach Joe Wicks, Lucy Bee has expanded to cacao, turmeric, coconut sugar, coconut milk and plenty more, with a range of skincare products free of palm oil coming later. Dad Phil runs the business side while mum Natalie works on recipe development. Sister Daisy is a nutritionist while brother Jack works on pricing and purchasing.
George & James Taylor – Mackie’s Crisps
Mackie’s Crisps are the product of a joint venture between ice cream producer Mackie’s of Scotland and third-generation potato farmers, the Taylor Family. Father George Taylor and his son, James, led the company to growth in 20 countries around the world. Its distinctly Scottish branding and flavours, including Haggis and Whisky, have it the premium crisps on course to increase turnover to £20 million by 2020.
Martin & Tracy Hamilton – Mash Direct
Together with their sons Lance and Jack, Martin and Tracy Hamilton are the founders of Mash Direct, a range of farm-produced microwaveable meals. Although the business was started in 2004, the family’s history on the farm dates back six generations to the 1800s. In that time, its farms have grown from 70 to 1,400 acres with its growing product range contributing to record revenues and expansion into the US and Middle East.
Simon, Colin & Nigel Smith – Ringtons
Brothers Simon, Colin and Nigel are the fourth generation of the Smith family to run Ringtons, a tea company started by their great grandfather Samuel Smith OBE in 1907 from a horse and cart. Every time a new generation of Smiths have taken over, Ringtons has seen renewed growth and with the fifth and sixth generations set to run the company in the near future, the latest boost looks to be around the corner.
Gemma & Paul Young – Settled
Gemma and Paul Young are the brother and sister team behind Settled, an online estate agency that uses technology to provide everything house buyers everything they need to complete in a simple way. Settled unpacks the whole process, connects all the steps and fixes the broken parts.
Rupesh & Alexandra Thomas – Tuk Tuk Chai
Rupesh and Alexandra Thomas are the husband and wife founders of Tuk Tuk Chai, a range of chai drinks inspired by yearly trips to Rupesh’s hometown in India. The pair launched the company after Alexandra fell in love with the rich and complex spicy flavours she enjoyed in India and started brewing their own at home.
Paul & Ian Hayman – Uncommon Ground
Uncommon Ground is an independent speciality coffee bar founded by brothers Paul and Ian Hayman in 2015. With its own roastery, Uncommon Ground is making a name for itself in Cardiff as a company that has complete control over the process from sourcing the beans responsibly to ensuring perfect extraction in the cup.