Most inspirational business is based in Bacup

Anna Federici

BACUP businesses triumphed at the 2020 Rossendale Business Awards scooping seven of the awards including the top trophy.

Anna’s Cafe Bar in Weir, Bacup was heralded as the most inspirational business for its innovative response to the pandemic, which saw it adapt, provide and serve its community. Anna Federici opened the cafe bar in 2018 and within six months had won a new business trophy at Rossendale Business Awards. However, it was the response of Anna and her team to the pandemic, and the challenges it posed, that astounded the judges of the 2020 business awards. When the café could not open for sit-down meals, it returned to being a shop and the stock room was emptied to provide essential items for sale. Customers shielding were able to order their shopping and have it delivered and a takeaway service was introduced; staff did not want to be furloughed. The café, which had already been established as the heart of the village, became a lifeline to many. At this year’s online presentation ceremony, the business retained its Food and Drink title and added the Medium Business trophy while owner Anna also won the Enterprising Person title. Then Anna and the team also won the top title – the Valley at Work Award – a bespoke glass trophy engraved by Alexis Valentine from Walking on Glass.

When news of the success was announced online, Anna and two of the team were working to provide a takeaway service for customers. She was so thrilled, she and ran around the café. Rob Carder, Chair of Valley at Work that connects local businesses and organises the awards, said: “What stood out to the judging panel was the way Anna and the team responded to the crisis. “They reacted instantaneously and changed their business model overnight to be able to meet the needs of their customers. During lockdown Anna and her team saw it as what they could do; not what they couldn’t.”

Anna said: “Our phone has not stopped ringing with orders since the results were announced on Wednesday night. The awards really make a difference to a business. “I was so elated for all of the team. I am very competitive and I was very appreciative when we won one, then the next one and then another. For such a young business, I never thought we would win the top trophy. “I know how hard my team have worked, and myself, and this is wonderful for them to get the acknowledgement.”

The Food and Drink title was sponsored by Kays Fish and Chips, Medium Business title by Metis HR and Enterprising Person by Dawn Rose Contemporary Jewellery and Accessories.

Anna Federici

Timber window business scoops large business title

Large Business winner was Douglas & Peters, a Bacup-based timber frame window company established in 2017.

Four former colleagues of a Littleborough business that was sold to an American company decided to pool the business on New Line Industrial Estate.

Managing Director Andrew Douglas said: “We made our first sale in January 2018 and we have boomed from there.

“Timber frames are greener than plastic and local authorities are now specifying timber in some builds.

“A plastic frame will last 15 years, a wood frame will last 65 years and if properly made, treated and looked after it can last a century. We are proud to be a UK based manufacturer.

“It was a complete shock to get nominated and we are over the moon to win it.”

The award was sponsored by Metis HR.

New Business title won by Stacksteads cafe

FAMILY-run Lucy Lous Café won the Rossendale Council sponsored Invest in Rossendale (new business) trophy.

The café, on Newchurch Road, is owned by chef Simon Riley who has been in the catering and food industry for 20 years and his business partner is his mum Sue who also has vast experience in the catering industry.

Lucy Lou’s opened in July last year and in response to COVID 19, the business introduced an evening takeaway service and dining experience and links through Just Eat opened the café to a much larger audience.

The award was sponsored by Rossendale Council.

Entrepreneur begins business while still in school

AT JUST 15, Jacob Reader set up his own video production business and he has already won a business award. Jacob was a student at Whitworth Community High School when he began playing pranks on his grandma Mary Abbott and he would film them. Then, with her permission, he posted them online and made her a YouTube sensation. He said: “I have always had a passion for filming and in August 2019 I was asked to make a video for Jordan Young of Secure IT. “He opened my eyes and made me realise that this was what I wanted to do.” So Jacob, from Bacup, set JJR Video Productions up while he was still in Year 11 at Whitworth and has been employed by many local businesses to help boost their profile, these include Lucardo Rawtenstall Escape Rooms, Baked Cakes in Bacup and Rochdale Dog Walking Service At the online Rossendale Business Awards presentation, Jacob won the Rossendale Council sponsored Invest In Rossendale Young Person trophy. This was a special new category to celebrate the wealth of new businesses that had been started by young people since April 2019. Jacob, 16, said: “I filmed a wedding in September and it was the most exciting

and biggest opportunity I have had. “I have already been asked to video another on New Year’s Eve and I hope to get more experience of wedding filming. I also want to continue to produce films for local businesses. Jacob is now completing his A levels at Burnley College in Film Studies, Business and PE and in between studies he is undertaking jobs. His mum Ruth said: “I was so excited watching the awards. It was really nice that he got nominated. He is very passionate about what he does and he gets brilliant feedback from the people he works for.” Jacob is ploughing the money he makes into new kit, has bought himself a new camera and will be investing in additional audio and lighting equipment. He also works part-time in Stacksteads for Lucy Lou’s Café, which the winner of the Rossendale Council sponsored Invest In Rossendale award for new businesses. For more information visit https://jjrvideoproduction.wixsite.com/media

Highly commended for photographer

Liz COMMERCIAL photographer Liz Hall, owner of Liz Henson Photography. was highly commended in the Part-Time Business category. Last year’s Part-Time Business winner Liz, from Stacksteads, found the pandemic severely affected her business as annual events she covers across the North West had to be cancelled leaving her diary with many empty pages. She said: “I did one job on March 27, just after lockdown, and it took until June 9 for me to go out on another paid job.

“Mentally I struggled with this as it’s the longest I’ve not worked and I have been working since I was 14.” Her daughter should have been starting nursery, but that was postponed to September so she was also looking after Darcy full-time, while trying to focus on retaining her business.

Liz upskilled by joining GrowTraffic’s courses including Better Blogging and Social Marketing courses and she online networked intensively, attending meetings, webinars and one-to-ones to learn more about the clients she works with and she presented at local business meetings, online. She said: “With each of these speaking opportunities, my confidence in public speaking has grown. Each one has been a step in the right direction in self improvement and raising awareness for my business.

“When the first lockdown happened, I took the time to make a list of all my clients from the past 12 months and contacted them just to say hello and ask if there was anything I could help them with.

“I was delighted to be awarded a highly commended certificate in the Part-Time Business category this year. I am confident that I will be able to move my business forward next year while still retaining the work-life balance.” The award is sponsored by Winter Solicitors, Bacup.

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