Norwich father and son’s business goes from strength to strength

Father and son Max and Nick Applin, directors of Applin & Co. Father and son Max and Nick Applin, directors of Applin & Co.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
6:32 AM

A father and son who joined forces to set up their own business are hoping to push the boundaries as their company goes from strength to strength.

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When Nick Applin was a schoolboy, he had dreamt of working with his dad Chic Applin, who was well known in Norwich for his involvement in the city’s entertainment scene where he worked as a band leader, booking agent and musician.

That dream never had the chance to materialise when Mr Applin’s father died suddenly when he was just 15 years old.

Now, 35 years down the line, Mr Applin has forged a business partnership with his own son Max.

The father and son team founded Applin and Co, a bespoke marketing firm, last spring. Within the first 15 months, they have seen their business grow from a two-man operation to a team of five full-time employees, and the company has won a lucrative Webby award, considered to be the Oscars of the digital arts and sciences industry, for a project they worked on in Philadelphia in America.

Mr Applin and his son Max now hope to expand the business further while keeping true to their Norwich roots.

The married father-of-two from Thorpe, who was responsible for developing the Chicago Rock Cafe brand for Luminar leisure and used to run the Rivergarden pub, said: “When you’re entrepreneurial and working hard all the while to make it work, some of that does rub off on your kids.

“It was Max who suggested setting up the business. He came up with the idea a couple of years ago and said it would be great to set up a business together and to bring the two generations of skills together. It’s been very natural. We’ve not had any heated discussions - a couple of challenging debates, but nothing more than that.”

He added: “We want to embed the business into the Norwich community and are looking to push the boundaries now.”

Before setting up Applin and Co, Mr Applin founded digital marketing service Ouch Creative which he also now runs with his son Max. Both companies are based at St James’ Mill in Norwich.

It is hoped Applin and Co, which won the designer and front end developer award at the Webby Awards, will grow to a team of 10 over the next three years.

Max, 28, said: “We want to keep going as we have been as it’s been really good and really successful.”

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