Thirteen years of hard work was recently recognised and rewarded twice over when the team at local Cheddar campsite Petruth Paddocks won not one but two out of a possible three accolades at the Sedgemoor Business Excellence Award ceremony. These awards come hot on the heels of being recognised as the most popular UK campsite by the camping industry’s leading search engine Pitchup.com.The Petruth paddocks team with Roger and Sue Durston who first suggested opening a campsite
Best Family Business and Best Customer Service awards were presented to Jules and Sandra Sayer, their children Kelly and Steve and their site Managers Steve and Jo by Radio Somerset presenter Claire Carter.
Claire said she just loved the Petruth Paddock’s mantra: “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou)
The panel of judges included Helen Lacey of Red Berry Recruitment Ltd who said: “It was an honour to be a judge at the awards as there where so many excellent applications. To win one award is an achievement but two is absolutely fantastic!! For me, Petruth Paddocks epitomise what a family business is all about, passion, caring and customer service, you can tell they really love working together and making their customers happy. So it’s not surprising they won both the Family Business and the Customer Service Categories! Well done, well deserved”
The team welcomed over 13,000 guests last year and according to a recent Economic Impact Report those folk spent approaching a massive £1 million pounds in Cheddar and the surrounding area. Petruth Paddocks now employs four full-time staff and on busy weekends and during the holidays up to an additional ten part-time staff wear the campsite’s branded clothing that asks “How can I help you?”
When asked what’s the secret of your success Jules replied “We simply love what we do and that shines through – from the warm welcome after a stressful journey, the helping hand putting up the tent with no instructions, fixing the broken loo seat the moment it’s mentioned or just taking the time to chat to folk around their campfire – its lots of little things that show we genuinely care about how our guests feel.”
We’re also on a mission to separate children from their tech and allow them to experience the fun, adventure and yes even the risk that running round fields and making new friends can bring. We want children to appreciate the joy of physical relationships, the benefits of physical exercise and the fulfilment of creating dens and making up games – the stuff that memories are made of. We remember this stuff from our own childhoods – it’s contributed to who we are as people, how we view risk and how we relate to one another. Can you ever imagine our children today recalling in years to come how they remember the fabulous times they had destroying zombies playing Black Ops III or scrolling through their Facebook news feed?
We plan to introduce a low-ropes course and a “beach area” later in the year however the highlight for children during their stay will probably still remain the daily trailer rides which are accompanied giggles and by shrieks of laughter – and that’s just the parents!
Whilst we each have specific roles Sandra explained, we all muck in to do whatever’s needed. Our automated booking system lets us know in advance how many folk to expect and we keep a careful eye on Mr Sun because when he pops out our bookings soar. We have a policy to always over-staff. This means no one gets stressed and there’s always someone wondering about chatting to people and spotting ways to help create special memories.”
Kelly looks after the administration stuff and it’s a crucial role – she explained “People need to know they’ve made the right choice from the moment they make their booking we make sure that any special requests are responded to the same day and that all our communication is done in a fun, relaxed, personal and friendly way.
Campfires are one of the top 3 reasons why folk choose to stay at the site and last year and alongside his role of Maintenance Manager, Steve provided over 6000 sacks of logs which he and the team deliver to campers every evening along with paper, lighters, kindling and fire-pits made from converted washing machine drums.
It’s all about being “all over it” and Site Manager’s Steve and Jo do an amazing job spotting stuff and simply taking care of it whatever it is – they know they have our trust and permission to do whatever it takes to make sure people leave feeling better about themselves and life in general.
Every guest is given a 20 page Welcome Guide that not only explains what’s acceptable and what not – music off at 11, no driving after dark etc. but also where to shop, eat or replace your broken tent – everything’s covered including discounts with many local suppliers.
With over 1000 positive reviews on all the leading review sites their customers clearly agree that the team at Petruth Paddocks are blazing a trail when it comes to creating just the right feel and wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.