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What is it Like to Win the Business Achievers Awards? – Dawn Cann – Avondale Foods

We talk to former winners of the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards to learn more about how winning the award has impacted on their businesses.

In this post we speak to Dawn Cann of Avondale Foods.


Best Food and Drink Award, 2014
Dawn Cann – Avondale

Established in 1965, Avondale Foods the family-run company is located just outside Lurgan, Co. Armagh, on Chestnut Farm. Avondale initially grew and sold vegetables before moving focus to research and development and subsequently diversified into vegetable processing. With products supplied under own label and Country Kitchen brands, the company supplies most major supermarkets.

What was your start-up day?
Avondale was founded in 1965 and initially traded under the name of ‘S. Geddis & Sons’.  I joined the business on a full time basis in 2000.

Dawn Cann of Avondale Foods.

Dawn Cann of Avondale Foods.

What motivates you?
Building on the company’s success and a love of good food.

What keeps you up at night?
My 2 year old twins!

What’s been the most challenging part of running a business for you?
Refusing to compromise on quality in order to achieve a lower cost, during challenging economic times a few years ago.

And the most rewarding?
Seeing someone put one of our products into their shopping trolley still gives me a buzz.

What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
I’ve made a few mistakes and I’ve learned not to repeat them.

What are some of the characteristics of people that have been successful at your company?

  • Integrity
  • Belief in the company’s ethos of sourcing high quality ingredients.
  • Passion for good food.

What are you most excited about for the future?
The company’s ability to develop exciting and innovative products coupled with growing consumer interest in foods has provided us with an excellent opportunity to expand our product portfolio.

Any amazing families, partners, friends behind the scenes you’d like to thank – how did they support you in the early days?
This is a family company, where the second generation are now in senior management positions.  We all have different skill sets which complement each other.

What doors has winning the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards opened for you?
The Business Achievers Award has helped raise our profile.

What was the biggest benefit for you winning this award?
Winning this award was recognition of the team’s continued work in delivering high quality products.

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