Ernest Doe & Sons: more than a family business


12 July 2017

Colin Doe (centre), with his team and guests

Ernest Doe & Sons are a large family owned business. By that I mean, not only are they large by turnover, but a large number of the family and extended family have a direct interest in the business.

That business will be 120 years old next year, and with Colin Doe currently at the helm the business is in rude health. As, indeed, is Colin himself, a very keen cyclist who is undertaking a charity cycling challenge that I will come on to.

This is a business that clearly values its people, and its community, and even those (like me) who offer external assistance. So much so, in fact, that recently I had the pleasure of being invited, along with other advisers, to attend an open day at the premises of the business in Ulting, Essex, where I had the super privilege of being allowed to drive some very large and exciting vehicles, including a combine harvester and a 20 tonne digger. There is a very simple pleasure in digging a massive hole!

There is a wider point here, which is that Colin has ensured that Ernest Doe & Sons habitually embraces the various different factions that influence it – the night before, for example, it was the local Young Farmers group who had been given the same opportunity. The extremely helpful staff had given up their time outside of normal hours to promote the vision and brand of the business, and their willingness to do that is reflective of just how important each member of staff is made to feel by the Doe family. 

Back to Colin and that cycle challenge. He is raising money for Parkinson’s UK, by aiming to conquer the Italian Alps on 9 and 10 September this year. If you search his name on the Just Giving website you will find the details, and once again this is just another example of how family owned businesses, no matter how busy they are looking after the family’s assets and future, will always make time for great philanthropic efforts, and this is a prime example of that.

Ernest Doe & Sons is a fine example of an East Anglian family owned business, which we are proud to advise, but which we are equally proud to support in its non-business efforts, just as one sees throughout family businesses in general as a rule. And whilst we are happy to see the business look to climb to greater heights – through its expansion, and its addition of new lines – we equally expect to see the same of Colin in his personal endeavour.

The content of this article is for general information only. If you would like to discuss the opportunities and challenges that your family owned business is facing please contact Adam Jones on  01245 211332 or [email protected]. Law covered as at July 2017.

This article is from the July issue of The Family Business, our newsletter for those working within family-owned businesses. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website.