Ian Gilbert has scooped Franchise of the Year Award for Fonehouse Camborne and Fonehouse Helston, beating 70 other shops for the title. 

Born and bred in Hayle, he couldn’t be happier about his latest accolade, nor about his continuing 21 years of business success in the mobile phone industry. 

“We’re the busiest we’ve been in ten years,” he said.  

“There are 70 Fonehouse stores nationwide, and Camborne is in the top six for quality and quantity of sales. We even have customers as far afield as Somerset.” 

As well as running his businesses, Ian is Vice-Chair of BID Camborne. 

“BID does a very important job in giving local traders a collective voice. Recent Town Deal proposals to scrap our free 30-minute parking bays, for example, needed to be challenged as a lot of people use them to pop in and out of the town centre. Losing them risks significantly reducing footfall and BID is there to represent local views.” 

Ian’ employs three people – including his son, Callum, who joined him in the business nine years ago as a technician. His wife Penny also has a role as company secretary. 

First established in 1994, Fonehouse invites all its franchisees to London for its annual conference and awards. 

“They are an excellent group to work with and look after us very well,” said Ian. 

“I certainly didn’t expect to win the top award but am delighted to have done so. Not just for me, but for my team and, of course, for Camborne and Helston.” 

And what does he think is the secret of his success? 

“Always going the extra mile for customers. Nothing is ever too much trouble in ensuring they get the service they need. 

“We do home visits whenever necessary and have even climbed into lofts to get the best broadband signal. 

“People trust us to always do our best for them. And trust is like gold dust.”