By Betsy Everett
Nineteen-year-old Betty Guy of Askrigg has made it to the finals of the Best New Business Awards as one of the top ten young entrepreneurs in the country.
Betty, who started Humble Pie, Fawcett and Guy, almost exactly a year ago with mum, Elizabeth Fawcett, will travel to London for the national awards ceremony at the end of June.
She is not only one of the youngest of the finalists but hers is the only business in the whole of Yorkshire to reach the finals in her category.
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“When I entered I truly never thought I would hear any more. I couldn’t believe it when I got the news,” said Betty, between cooking and serving the home-made meals from locally-sourced ingredients which the tiny business in the Market Square in Askrigg has rapidly become famous for.
The citation from Best New Business Awards 2018 says reaching the finals “reflects hard work, enterprise and endeavour in business.”
Betty learned her baking and cookery skills from Elizabeth, whose book Ramblers Rewards was a huge hit when it was published in 2010, and from maternal grandma, Margaret Baker, a retired domestic science teacher.
With sisters Suzy and Emily she recalls delicious teas at grandma’s house most days after school.
“We spent a lot of time with her when mum was working so I must have learned a lot without really realising it. Then when mum was creating recipes for the book we were her top testers without a doubt! It means I’ve had great role models and I was always around mum when she was cooking, but it wasn’t something I did every day,” says Betty.
She left Wensleydale School in Leyburn at 16, knowing she wanted a practical, rather than a university, education, but still did not focus on food.
Instead, she took an apprenticeship at the independent department store, Milners of Leyburn, while working for a level two qualification in business administration. She then temped for various businesses in the area, learning on the job about customer service, business and retail skills.
“It’s a great example of gaining confidence through the apprenticeship scheme and we are all incredibly proud of her,” said Elizabeth.
It was Betty’s idea that the business, started when she was only 10 months old, but which closed five years later, should be revived.
Now mum and daughter share everything: the cooking and baking as well as all the admin and buying. Humble Pie is noted for its takeaway home-made meals, sandwiches, pies and desserts, with an eye on Holiday Property Bond holders next-door-but-one, holiday cottage occupants in Askrigg and surrounding area, cyclists, walkers and local residents.
There is also a cafe, an order-and-collect catering service, and a range of quality gifts and goods from independent British manufacturers.
“It has been a great year and I would say at least three times busier than I’d imagined when we started. We’ve had so much support from local people and of course we couldn’t do it without our fantastic staff,” says Betty.