The spread of winners at the second annual awards ceremony demonstrated the changing nature of commercial activity in Neston as well as rewarding long-term commitment to the town.
A new Mayor of Neston award for exceptional customer service voted by the public provided a short-list of two that it was impossible to separate. The nominator of Mozkitos Coffee House in Parkgate said it had developed as a real community asset. When Parkgate stores closed the locals had nowhere to get their newspapers, milk and bread in Parkgate. Laura Spencer came up with the idea of getting these essentials for pre- order. “Her staff are so welcoming and always have a smile for all their customers. They welcome dogs and muddy boots and provide excellent breakfast and other meals.”
Mike McFeat Roofing is a family owned small business with a local focus. They repair and maintain roofs for so many people, businesses and institutions around Neston. Their nominator said, “They provide reasonable quotes, stick to the quoted price, turn up on time, do an excellent job, and if there is any problem (rare) they come back to fix it and they come out in emergencies. What more can ask from a local business?”
Winner of the long-standing business award, Balducci Jewellers, began as a home-based trade repairs business in 1974. Shortly afterwards Lynette Balducci moved the business to a room above Pykes the Butcher (now Selby’s Star) and, in 1977 to its current location at The Cross. Balducci’s, still run by Lynette and her daughter Annette, has long brought a touch of class and excellence to the town centre. Their beautiful designs, both ‘off the peg’ and bespoke, bring buyers from far and wide. Family run and very much in the heart of the community, Balducci’s has an excellent reputation in the jewellery world and amongst their many thousands of happy customers.
To my mind Neston Market has been much improved since the Town Council took over its management: more stalls, different stalls – and more than just the Friday one. So it was good for the new Market trader of the Year Award to go to Sion Jones of Station House Nurseries. Sion personally brings the company’s goods to the town’s markets, rarely if ever missing a day. He goes above and beyond by actively promoting the markets on social media, supporting seasonal promotions such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas with huge enthusiasm and inspiring other traders to join in. He even lends a hand to tidy up and put away stalls at the end of the Farmers’ Market.
This year’s Neston Entrepreneurs of the Year award went to Elephant Coffee. Their town centre Coffee Shop opened its doors in 2012, followed, in 2014, by Elephant Lounge and Bar in Parkgate, and now, in 2016, they are launching Elephant Bank Pizzeria and Bar, taking over an iconic building in the heart of the town, further broadening the food and drink offer for residents and visitors alike.
Lynnette Balducci (seated) and from left, Sion Jones, Mike McFeat, Adam & Emma Mitchell (Elephant) and Ian Spencer & Laura Elwood (Mozkitos)