Award category sponsored by 

Paul Heygate, Heygates Mills and Fine Lady Bakeries

Paul Heygate has made a huge contribution to the UK milling and baking industries, and has also been a great businessman, knowing when to invest, and how to grow a family business.

As joint managing director of Heygates Mills and Fine Lady Bakeries, he stands out uniquely as a farmer, miller and bread plant baker. In his younger days he went to Oundle School, then Moulton Agricultural College. He married Sally and they had two daughters including Sarah, who works for the family company and is mum to two children. 

Those who know him well say Heygate combines straight speaking with kindness and compassion, engendered in part by the sad loss of his other daughter and, more recently, his sister, to cancer. This is one reason why he is also very active in fund-raising to support cancer research charities.

Heygate has served as chairman of the Farmers Club, director of agriculture research institute NIAB, president of Nabim, chair of the Flour Advisory Bureau, Master of the Worshipful Company of Bakers, and governor of Moulton Agricultural College, where he took a close interest in supporting students with special needs.

Little wonder, then, that so many across the industry have paid tribute to him:

  • Jean Grieves, former chairman of the British Society of Baking: “Paul’s given up a huge amount of time to serve on committees, always with the aim to make things better.”

  • Alex Waugh, director general of Nabim: “Paul has always loved the people side of the business. Those who know him well both enjoy and dread a Friday afternoon phone call, knowing they’ll likely be on the phone for at least half an hour. But it’s not just idle chat, for none know the business better nor could they be more committed to it. His commitment, however, extends far beyond baking, through the whole grain chain.”

  • Ann Tyrrell, his PA: “He has a very good business brain, a tough exterior, but kind heart. Importantly, he’s always willing to listen.”

  • Joe Street, former MD at Fine Lady Bakeries: “He was a great guy to work for.”

  • Paul Morrow, chairman of British Bakels and current master of the Worshipful Company: “It would be difficult to identify anyone who’s made a greater contribution to the UK baking industry. Paul was born into the industry as a miller and baker and, throughout his life, he has seen serving the trade as his duty. This has led him, among many other things, to serve as president of appeal for the Bakers Benevolent Society, and allow his staff to actively support the Craft Bakers Association.”

Time is an important factor in anyone’s life and Paul Heygate has given up a huge amount of time not only to run a successful farming milling and baking business but also to give back, to serve, to ‘make things better’.

“Paul Heygate is part of a family business that is clearly moving forward, while his
ways of giving back are apparent in his willingness to serve the industries
he represents and to raise money for charities.”

Sebastien Guibert, sales director at sponsor Délifrance