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Stamford businesses Class Q Ltd, Iris and Violet and The Blonde Beet compete for Best New Start-Up title at Mercury Business Awards

Owners of three new businesses will be competing for the top spot at the Mercury Business Awards.

Judges will soon crown the winner of the Best New Start-Up, an award open to businesses of up to three years old, at a prestigious gala dinner at Greetham Valley Hotel next month.

Vying for the top spot is last year's finalists Class Q Ltd, a Stamford-based architectural company which was set up in November 2018.

Mercury Business Awards logo web
Mercury Business Awards logo web

Tom Helliwell, who set up the business with Iain Downer and Christian Wentzel, said: "It's great for us to get recognised. We were finalists last year and finished runners up.

"We nominated ourselves as we were so close so thought we would try again."

"We've done quite well in the short time we've been going in terms of projects we've worked on successfully and planning permission.

Iain Downer and Tom Helliwell, founders of Class Q
Iain Downer and Tom Helliwell, founders of Class Q

"The business has grown quite a lot since last year - we've got four new members of staff."

Tom is excited to attend the awards ceremony in person, having missed out on it last year due to the pandemic.

Jo Kemp, owner of The Blonde Beet, was left surprised after being named a finalist in the Best New Start-Up category.

"It feels like it's been a real whistle-stop 18 months," said Jo.

Jo Kemp, owner of The Blonde Beet
Jo Kemp, owner of The Blonde Beet

"I think because of covid it feels a lot quicker than it actually is, it feels like I'm very new but thinking about it I have had 18 months set up."

In May, she took the first step into her business’ expansion as she moved into a premises in St Paul’s Street, initially operating takeaway service only before welcoming customers inside in July.

The Blonde Beet aims to provide exciting vegetarian food and has a significant focus on the environment.

Beth Scott-Morris
Beth Scott-Morris

"I think for this category probably that we have been in business quite a short period of time starting as a home project and organically, due to covid we sussed the opportunity to try it," said Jo.

"We were able to test the market in theory by providing a service that wasn't there on terms of takeaway vegan meals."

Clothing store Iris and Violet opened in St Mary’s Street in Stamford in 2019.

A second branch in Cambridge followed earlier this year.

Iris and Violet has previously been named runner-up in the category and owner Beth Scott-Morris said she was excited to have another chance to take the top spot.

She plans to bring her team to the event as Iris and Violet is also shortlisted in the Best Independent Retailer

“Whatever happens, it has been a really tough year and we can’t wait to celebrate together but it would be really nice to

“Just to be shortlisted in two categories though is amazing. I am very proud.”

The winners of the Mercury Business Awards will be announced at a ceremony at Greetham Valley on Friday, October 15.

To find out more about the awards e-mail: sharron.marriott@iliffepublishing.co.uk.

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