Coach company earns Best Family Business award

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Coach company earns Best Family Business award

Business Awards UK has named South West-based coach company Bakers Dolphin as the Best Family Business in the 2024 Travel Awards.

The business began when 21-year-old Theodore Baker borrowed £25 from his elder brother to buy a pony chair. This family loan enabled Theodore to set up the business in Weston-super-Mare – where it is still based today – offering rides.

In 2024, the Baker family is still represented on the business board, which is still offering rides, but with a modern, state-of-the-art Gold coach service featuring wi-fi, luxury legroom, catering and entertainment on board, rather than a pony chair!

The day-to-day running of Bakers Dolphin remains a family affair; Managing Director Max Fletcher and his wife Amanda, who is the Sales and Marketing Director, are at the helm, and they ensure that strong family values remain the firm foundations behind the business.

Max ensures that the fleet is kept up-to-date and that vehicles and drivers are in the right place at the right time. At the same time, Amanda focuses on customer service and puts together the tour programme, offering travellers fresh adventures and exciting new destinations every year.

Amanda said: “We’re particularly pleased to be given the title of Best Family Business because we often refer to the ‘Bakers Dolphin family’, which comprises our customers, drivers, and hostesses. “We have grandparents making memories with their grandchildren by taking them on their first visit to a theme park; we provide romantic weekends for couples, luxury spa breaks and our famous turkey and tinsel tours, which the older generation particularly enjoys.

“We are there for families at all stages of their lives. Our drivers and hostesses – some of them husband-and-wife teams – become the extended family of many customers.

“That family feel is never more apparent than on our very popular annual reunion tours. In 2023, we went to the Lake District.

“At these events, the Bakers Dolphin family gathers to chat about the adventures they’ve enjoyed over the year, plan the adventures yet to come and enjoy convivial time over a meal with entertainment. “The key to our family approach has not just been to provide something for all members of the family, with comfort, safety, and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do, but also ensuring we demand the best from third parties, such as hotels, that we work alongside.

“We are proud of our family values, and to have that recognised with a national award is something that gives us tremendous pride and satisfaction.”

The Business Awards UK 2024 Travel Awards aim to highlight the extraordinary services, destinations and innovations that define today’s travel landscape. The awards are not just accolades but a testament to the relentless pursuit of travel and hospitality excellence.

To find out more about Bakers Dolphin and the wide variety of holidays and tours available, from day trips to extended excursions abroad, call 01934 415 000 or visit


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