Melissa enjoys the sweet smell of success

Charlene White, Melissa Burton and Mike Eccleshall of UKTI.
Charlene White, Melissa Burton and Mike Eccleshall of UKTI.

A Morecambe woman has become the outstanding business woman of the year in the Barclays-Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards for 2013.

Melissa Burton, MD of Goody Good Stuff, received her trophy – a hand-blown lilac glass bowl - from Tina Lowes, regional business director of Barclays, at a special lunch at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

Melissa was named the international business woman of the year in an award sponsored by UKTI, and presented by Mike Eccleshall, and went on to take the overall title, as 12 other senior women were named winners in their respective categories.

Another Morecambe business woman, Nicky Cannon of Jonic UK became the manufacturing business woman of the year for the second successive year, in an award sponsored by Amplitude AV and presented by their MD Chris Conderson.

The judges – from sponsors Barclays – said of Melissa’s business:

“Our winner started with a good idea and created a product which would have great appeal to markets across all backgrounds and to people with varied dietary requirements.

“She promoted her product extremely well and against stiff competition in this very competitive market, gained agreement from major outlets, both in this country and abroad, to stock her outstanding products.

“This forward thinking approach and single minded determination has allowed her to expand into lucrative International markets.”

Melissa’s company supplies some of the biggest names on the high street, including Waitrose, Asda, Booths, Whole Foods and Planet Organic with her natural gelatine-free sweets.

Nicky Cannon, MD of Jonic UK, set up her company from the loft of her family home, after spotting a gap in the market, making bedding packs for caravans.

She learned to sew and took on manufacturing and retail alongside running a property company. The bedding business moved premises three times before the economic slowdown prompted her to refocus, change and streamline the business model.

Within weeks she had secured a major order from the UK’s largest caravan manufacturer to supply packs for all 2013 display models.

A special award was presented by the original Forward Lady and founder, Etta Cohen, to Helen Colley of The Perfect Mix, for services to Forward Ladies and to women in business.

She set up Farmhouse Fare, which she subsequently sold to Daniels Food Group, and is now in the process of setting up her new business.