D & E, still growing, takes Best Family Business title in award triumph

The wheels on the bus go round and round – to business success!

D & E Coaches has been voted Best Family Business in the Highlands and Islands 2019 at a glittering awards ceremony at Drumossie Hotel, Inverness.

The occasion was the Highlands and Islands Business Awards and MC Nikki Marr told the audience:”All the judges were impressed with the strong business growth, driven by impressive family engagement in a competitive market sector.

“It was also clear that the whole family was actively involved in shaping the future ambitious plans of this highly successful business.”

Managing director Donald Mathieson, who started up the company 23 years ago with his wife Elizabeth – the ‘D’ and ‘E’ —  said:”We’re proud and delighted to have won the Best Family Business Award ahead of excellent companies on the short list.

“We’ve come a long way and have had another excellent year and the recognition f the business community through this award is the icing on the cake.

“ It’s a family business and a family success story.”

Donald  started when his  father gave him £1,000 to buy a minibus and we operated it from their  own home.

By the time they had three minibuses, his father used to do school runs in the afternoon while his mother helped with the driving.

Now D & E has 64  coaches,  85 employees  and a £5 million turnover and has been, for the past decade, the principal private hire operator in the Highlands.

The Mathiesons’ three children all entered the business and Gayle is Operations Manager, Amy is Office Manager while Bryan heads up Driver Responsibilities.

D & E delivers 38 contracts for Highland Council, transporting over 2,000 children a day to and from school.

The company has carried 8,000 cruise liner passengers to Highland tourism hotspots this year, taking them to and from their ships at Portree, Oban, Inverness, Ullapool and Scrabster.

“Our employees along with our clients deserve credit for their share in our growth and winning this award”, said Donald. “We’re grateful to everyone involved and looking to drive the business further forward in 2020 and beyond.”