Balti House Rishton

Balti House Rishton; Hyndburn Business Awards

RECIPES handed down through the generations and first class customer service led to The Balti House in Rishton scooping two Hyndburn Business Awards in 2017. It was customers that nominated the restaurant and takeaway on High Street, but as well as collecting the Customer Friendly award they also picked up the Food title.

Brothers Mahmoon, Hussain, Mahfooz and Haroon Rashid opened the business in 2001 after they renovated the property from the cellar to the roof. Hussain, who cooks as well as being head of operations, said: “It was a great achievement for the whole team to win the awards. Being nominated by our customers has made us strive to achieve even more. It has also bonded us with our customers because of the support they have shown us.”

It was in the 1930s that the brothers’ great-grandfather Raja Mirza Khan used to run a small roadside café in Nakodar in Pakistan where he would serve a few curries. Recipes from those early days have been preserved and are still served to customers today using traditional fresh ingredients and fresh high quality meat. In the 1960s their father Raja Mohammed came to England and initially he was based in London and Surrey and worked in factories.
In 1977 he came to Blackburn and began selling wholesale fruit and vegetables and in 1985 he had a warehouse at New Smithfield Market in Manchester where he imported Asian food and distributed across the North West.

Hussain said: “Our family has always been involved in the food industry and our mother Zahida is a great cook and she has passed on her knowledge, her recipes and her curry mixes.”

Since the awards, the business has introduced two buffet evenings on a Sunday and a Monday.

Hussain said: “I would like to thank the Enterprising People team for introducing the business awards to Hyndburn. It is an extremely well organised competition and an excellent way to acknowledge all the different businesses that are in this area. We are also delighted that our customers have again nominated our business for the 2018 awards.
We put our success down to the grace of God, our parents’ praise, the hard work of our team and only cooking the best meals for our customers so they enjoy each and every morsel. We are proud to call Rishton our home.”

Story by Catherine Smyth

Photo by Liz Henson Photography

Haworth Art Gallery

A YEAR after winning the Tourism Business of the Year award, Haworth Art Gallery has expanded its visitor experience. The Stables and Motor House Artists’ Studios officially opened just months after the gallery won the Hyndburn Business Award and the Heritage Lottery funded project is already home to 12 artists with room for a further four. The Gallery Kitchen has also extended its opening hours and now provides catering from 11am with weekend bistro, gala nights and functions.

Gallery manager Yvonne Robins said: “Winning the award gives kudos to what we do. We have used it on all our publicity and literature we send out. The trophy and certificate is on display in the entrance along with our Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and Hyndburn Borough Council All for One award. This award helps to promote Haworth Art Gallery as a tourist attraction and over the last 12 months we have really expanded our visitor experience”

A visitor nominated the gallery for a Customer Friendly business award, but Yvonne was advised to also enter the Tourism category. Last June, at the presentation evening at Accrington Town Hall, Yvonne and colleague Margaret Porter joined other finalists on the stage for the Tourism category. She said: “We never expected to win and could not believe it when our name was read out.”

The former home of brother and sister William and Anne Haworth was built in 1909 and was gifted to the Corporation, along with works of art, in 1920. A sum of money for its upkeep was also bequeathed. Since Yvonne became Gallery Manager in 2014, the 8,500 visitors have increased to more than 23,000 a year. Now a full programme of Sunday family workshops has been arranged, family fun days will be held in the grounds, live music is on alternate Sundays along with further workshops led by artists who have a studio in the former stables building.

The free to enter gallery boasts the largest collection of Tiffany glass in Europe along with temporary exhibitions and the artists’ studios. It is now also a popular wedding venue. Yvonne added: “The grounds are also spectacular with the rose garden, a replica War Memorial to the Accrington Pals, memorial trees donated for the Pals by local historian Les Bond and a tree planted for the Queen’s 90th birthday. We have had visitors from South Africa, America and Australia, sometimes because they are staying with local relatives, sometimes they are researching a family tree but more often than not, it is to see our collection of Tiffany Glass.”

Article by Catherine Smyth Media