The Caithness Chamber of Commerce 49th Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony, held on September 15, 2023, Wick was a remarkable evening dedicated to celebrating excellence within the North Highland business community.

The event, hosted in the Norseman Hotel Wick, brought together the region’s most influential business personalities for a welcome chance to connect and celebrate the strength and resilience of the diverse North Highland business community.

An inspirational keynote address given by Dr Liz Cameron CBE, Director & Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, commended the invaluable work and commitment of the Caithness Chamber and its members and gave recognition to the region’s diverse economy showcasing entrepreneurial excellence, in food, drink, manufacturing, engineering, space technologies and tourism.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the annual awards by longstanding patron of the Caithness Chamber, Rt. Hon. The Viscount Thurso, Lord Lieutenant for Caithness.

Winner of the Young Business Award in the Micro category, sponsored by West of Orkney Windfarm, was awarded to CC Chocolatier, founded in 2019 by Mandy Boydell, a former head chef at the Castle of Mey. The business has gained a reputation for exquisite handmade chocolates, celebration cakes and immersive chocolate-making and luxury afternoon tea experiences. The young business was recognised for the quality and craftsmanship of its handmade products, using the finest of homemade and locally sourced ingredients and its unwavering commitment to excellence and continuous learning.

North Point Distillery was awarded the Young Business Winner in the SME category, sponsored by Pentland Floating Offshore Wind. Established in 2020 by business partners Struan Mackie and Alex MacDonald the growing business has more than quadrupled production since inception, developing its product line and private bottling service, and expanding into new markets. With a growing portfolio of awards the ambitious young distillery and its products have been internationally recognised for excellence in quality, design and sustainability.

The thriving young business was commended for its commitment to creating exciting opportunities for people and the local Caithness community, creating fourteen jobs within the first three years of trading and a commitment to adding new roles through apprenticeship and graduate programmes.