UNCLE JOE’S JOHN WINNARD MADE MBE
Wigan’s fourth generation confectioner John Winnard has been awarded an MBE.
The honour, which will be formally announced tomorrow, Saturday 11th June, comes in recognition of his outstanding services to the UK food manufacturing industry.
John, Joint Managing Director of Uncle Joe’s, has been specifically lauded for his work in developing international trade opportunities for SMEs and his tireless efforts in the Wigan and wider Northwest community to support economic growth.
Having successfully exported the Uncle Joe’s brand across Europe, USA, Japan and Australia, John has become a long-standing member of the government’s International Trade Development Advisory panel.
John is a regular figure at international trade shows around the world, talking passionately about the Uncle Joe story and his pride in UK manufacturing for which he is a fervent ambassador.
Closer to home John has taken voluntary posts in organisations committed to the successful growth and development of Wigan and the food manufacturing industry in the region.
He is former chair of Wigan Leisure Culture Trust Enterprise Board, a Director of Wigan Economic Partnership and a member of Wigan and Manchester Chamber Council, Wigan Food Network, and the Greater Manchester Manufacturing & Engineering Sector Council.
Speaking today John Winnard said: “It’s great to be recognised. I think it is important in business that you are prepared to share your experience and hopefully inspire someone else to take up a challenge and be successful. The Uncle Joe’s brand has inspired us to develop the company – over 110 years of mint ball production teaches you a lot!”
His drive and determination in his own business, which he took over in 1990 with his brother Antony, transformed a small company into a well established SME within the food industry. It’s a brand that is now recognised as an iconic symbol – one of the top ten things associated with the North West.
John typically attributes this to his talented and committed workforce. “We have some great people alongside us,” he added.
He is a larger than life character in the community, often seen sporting the Uncle Joe’s top hat and tails at community events, and giving up much of his free time to share the history, tradition and unchanged manufacturing methods at Uncle Joe’s with local groups. Many of these occasions generate donations which go directly to hospices in the town.
He also works in local schools in Wigan as a mentor providing an insight into the realities of running an SME and is a regular panel judge in local business award schemes.
John again: “I think you have to spend time giving something back to the communities which have been loyal to you. I enjoy it.”