Simply Doughnuts founder and MD Shiraz Master 2100x1400

Source: Simply Doughnuts

Founder and MD Shiraz Master

Simply Doughnuts founder and managing director Shiraz Master has been awarded an MBE for his services to the promotion of food and drink, to business, and to philanthropy.

The Blackburn-based entrepreneur, who launched the extended shelf-life doughnut specialist in 2012, was recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours List 2024 published on 14 June.

His royal appointment follows those for Jones Village Bakery founder Alan Jones and former Dickinson & Morris MD Stephen Hallam last year.

“The MBE is, of course, an amazing honour and, to be honest, I think I’m probably still in a bit of state of shock,” commented Master.

“I’m grateful and humbled to have been recognised in this way but I also want to acknowledge that nothing I’ve achieved in recent years has been a solo effort. I work with a fantastic team of staff and specialist supply chain partners, and they have played a big part in this too. So, I want to give my thanks to all of them for their support, enthusiasm, and ongoing commitment,” he added.

Simply Doughnuts chair Mike Wilson passed on his own congratulations, saying: “I’ve known and worked with Shiraz for many years and I’m delighted for him. He’s hard-working, innovative, ambitious and an active supporter of community projects. He’s a great role model for the leaders of British businesses. This honour is thoroughly deserved.”

Simply Doughnuts noted that its founder has also been recognised for a progressive approach to recruitment. This includes working with publicly funded employability programmes to offer placements, training, and work opportunities to people from disadvantaged communities and backgrounds, and to people who have struggled to get back into employment after spending long periods as carers, for example.

Thanks to its team ethos, Simply Doughnuts won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2020. This presented Master the chance to meet King Charles III three years ago, with the then-Prince of Wales presiding over a reception for the recipients, delayed by a year due to the pandemic.

Shiraz Master (second left) meets with King Charles III during the Queen's Awards for Enterprise reception in 2021

Source: Simply Doughnuts

Shiraz Master (second left) meets with King Charles III during the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise reception in 2021

The camaraderie among staff and working environment at its Blackburn site also helped the firm triumph in the Team of the Year category at the Baking Industry Awards 2021. Its company-wide waste reduction and resource efficiency saw it named as a finalist for Sustainability Initiative of the Year 2022.

Simply Doughnuts scored a listing last month for its Mini Ring Bites as part of One Stop’s expansion of its bakery range. Master is said to have been leading a number of recent projects including expansion of export sales in the Middle East and beyond, and development of new individually packaged Ring Bakes that offer a shelf-life up to five months. These currently come in two varieties of Cocoa Cream with Cocoa Glaze and Strawberry Jam with Strawberry Glaze.

Trio of titles

Meanwhile, the Worshipful Company of Bakers (WCB) was celebrating three of its present and past members receiving honours.

Patrick Wilkins

Source: Craft Bakers Association

CBA president Patrick Wilkins

Patrick Wilkins, the former Master of the trade guild and the current president of the Craft Bakers Association, was appointed MBE for services to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

WCB Liveryman Lesley Wild, whose career spanned four decades at Betty’s Craft Bakery and Taylors of Harrogate including as its chair, picked up a CBE for services to Business and Trade.

Lastly, there was a Knighthood for WCB court assistant Nicholas Lyons for services to the financial sector, to the growth economy, and to financial literacy. Lyons also recently served as the 694th Lord Mayor of London.