Independents' Day July 2020 - Where it all began
Independents’ Day UK is an annual campaign each July 4th celebrating and promoting the UK’s independent retail businesses.
Ely has so many wonderful Independent Retailers and Restaurants, a real eclectic mix; we are proud to support and champion each and every Independent business in our magnificent City. Please join in our July 4th Independents campaign to support all your local traders. Call into an independent business on this special day to say hello and maybe discover something new. Show your support by purchasing even if it’s a small item, every penny counts towards supporting your local High Street.
5 minutes with Louise at Ely Fudge Company
What inspired you or who influenced you to do it? 'I have always made fudge at home, started when my mother used to help me and it became a tradition at Christmas to make lots for the family and as gifts. Everyone said you should sell this! So I did!'
Who is your hero and why? 'I don’t have an actual hero, but any woman who can start a business and make is succeed has to be fairly heroic, especially if she is keeping a home going and a family too! My daughter, Jes, has just had her second child and is running her home with a newborn and a 4 year old, requiring home schooling, and yet still finds time to help me with lots of things from social media posts, fudge planning, ordering and staff rotas! She is probably as close to my hero as you can get!'
What are your favourite things about being an independent business in Ely? 'Ely is an exceptional city. Small but beautifully formed. We have a wonderful community and loyal customers who make running the business so worthwhile. We also sell online so people everywhere can enjoy our fudge see www.elyfudge.co.uk'
5 minutes with Debbie at Lemon Tree Deli Cafe
When did you decide to start your business? 'We decided to start our business on a Saturday afternoon in July 2016. We have worked in catering and hospitality for over 30 years (Adrian obviously a lot more than me!), we have both manage 200+ Seater restaurants, trained and developed 100’s of staff for large and small cooperate companies. Adrian, as a qualified chef, has developed large menus for branded restaurants whilst I after working mainly front of house and in management the persued a career In Hospitality training.
In 2016 fate came knocking and the Lemon Tree Deli Cafe was born and from that day on we have gone from strength to strength and never looked back or regretted our decision.
Working 7 days a week 14 hours a day was nothing new to us!!'
Who is your hero and why? 'Adrian’s Hero is Keith Floyd, Chef, and mine is an old manager of mine who had belief in me.'
What are your favourite things about being an independent business in Ely? 'Our favourite thing about being and independent in Ely Has to be the fantastic community, and the support the people of Ely give to independent businesses.'
5 minutes with Clare at Clare's Kitchen
When did you decide to start your business? 'I left the NHS in 2018 after 10 years as a Mental Health Nurse. Having always wanted to own my own coffee shop, my current premises came available so I went for it and have not looked back since. I have put my own style into the coffee shop re decorating it and making it brighter as well as the quirky gift shop.'
What inspired you or who influenced you to do it? 'I have many friends who over the years have said life is for living therefore you should do what will make you happy, I have never really thought much about this saying before until the time came when I could really think about what I wanted to achieve. I am always up for a challenge so decided to follow their advice and take the plunge - I am so glad I did.'
Who is your hero and why? 'My Grandparents - they always put their all into everything they do/did and never give up. They are always supportive in what I do and always want to help when they can. Throughout all the difficulties in their life times they are always smiling and cheering me on encouraging me to never give up.'
What are your favourite things about being an independent business in Ely?
'1. To be part of the local community
2. To be able to serve people delicious food and drinks
3. To be able to listen to people's stories and hear about their backgrounds etc really makes you feel part of the community.
4. To be able to help people in the local community through hot meals for the vulnerable, to messy play in half term holidays for the children, holding book club in the coffee shop, welcoming the WI for tea and cake, fundraising for local charities, fundraising for national charities, offering the too good to go app, being part of the healthier menu scheme.'
5 minutes with Arabella and Paul at Cutlacks
When did you decide to start your business? Paul : ‘The business was purchased by my Father in 1961 as he saw this as a good business opportunity and he was very much an Entrepreneur. I then took over the business from him’
What inspired you or who influenced you to do it? ‘My Father’
Who is your hero and why? Arabella: ‘Karen Brady is my hero, a leader and a great businesswoman’
What are your favourite things about being an independent business in Ely? Arabella : ‘Dealing with lovely, small suppliers, the wonderful community of Ely and how I just love being part of that’
5 minutes with Little Roos
When did you decide to start your business? ‘We started the business over 2 years ago now in April 2018’
What inspired you or who influenced you to do it? ‘We were looking to do something different and thought there was a clear gap in the market in Ely. There was really no where to get good quality children’s clothing locally. Margaret came up with the idea.
Who is your hero and why? ‘I don’t really have anyone in particular, but it’s one of those questions you get asked now and again! I would say my Father. He was a great influence and in my eyes, my hero. He was a hard worker and I always aspired to that.
What are your favourite things about being an independent business in Ely? ‘There are so many things, but mainly the community, the wonderful hub of traders, our regulars and that we all support each other. Ely has a strong and loyal community and that’s what makes our day.
5 minutes with Hadi at Hadi's Gelato
When did you decide to start your business? I decided to start Hadis Gelato last year after many years of dreaming of setting up my own Gelato business.
What inspired you or who influenced you to do it? My family were my biggest influence/inspiration to setting up my own business. I love creating my gelato here on site from the freshest ingredients. I know exactly what goes into authentic homemade gelato and I love to see people enjoy it.
Who is your hero and why? My Father is my hero. He is the reason I am the hard-worker that I am today.
What are your favourite things about being an independent business in Ely? I have a fiercely loyal customer base who support me and love my gelato!
5 minutes with Emily at Uclassy
When did you decide to start your business? 'In 2015 when I moved to Cambridge.'
What inspired you or who influenced you to do it? 'I have worked for different brands for many years. Though I worked with numbers and supported the field team, retail is not an alien to me. It was quite exciting to learn new things and have challenges when you have your own business.'
Who is your hero and why? 'My husband. He brought us here with huge pressure and sacrifice. He deserves a break but never stops working hard.'
What are your favourite things about being an independent business in Ely? 'Besides the amazing Ely Cathedral, my favourite things are serving my lovely customers, enjoying lots of local events and supporting each other.'