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Low waste food store wins £25k business grant

3-minute read

Business Boost 2024 winners, low waste food store Fair-Well
Rosanna Parrish

Rosanna Parrish

12 December 2023

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Fair-Well has been announced as the fourth winner of Simply Business’s Business Boost competition.

With thousands of entries from small businesses across the UK, narrowing it down to just one winner was a tough decision for our team of expert judges to make.

Keep reading to learn more about Fair-Well and what they do – as well as how you can enter next year to be in with a chance of winning a £25,000 business grant.

Fair-Well, our 2023 winners

Fair-Well is an eco-friendly, low waste wholefoods store based in London – but it’s also its own community. In a converted electric milk float called Charlie, the Fair-Well team bring their low waste shopping experience to neighbourhoods around London, helping to make living a sustainable lifestyle more accessible to all.

Working with organic and fairtrade suppliers, Fair-Well offers around 200 sustainable products without the need to go to a supermarket – as shoppers can book Charlie to come to their location, and others nearby will be alerted when the team is in the area.

Watch our video to see the amazing moment where owner Claire Marchais finds out she won the £25,000 grant, and tells us how she’ll use the money to make a difference.

A team of expert judges

With 17,000 entries, choosing the 2023 winner was a difficult decision. Our expert judging panel included Baroness Karren Brady CBE, one of the UK’s leading business women and Vice-Chairman of West Ham United F.C; business owner and winner of The Apprentice, Harpreet Kaur; as well as Co-Founder of the Micro Business Alliance, Tony Robinson OBE.

Tony Robinson, one of the UK’s biggest champions of micro-businesses, believes in Fair-Well’s mission, saying: “I think it's just amazing what they're doing and it's just going to be wonderful if this business succeeds.

“How it's helped the environment and how it's helped all the diverse and inclusive communities – they’re just doing great things.”

Baroness Brady agrees, saying “I empathise with the hurdles small business owners face in securing investment and funding. Fair-Well, with its dedicated commitment to addressing the plastic pollution crisis, is a unique and innovative project. Claire is an exceptionally worthy winner, and I'm genuinely excited to witness the positive impact her vision will have.”

Other members of the judging panel included Mark Maciver, CEO & Founder of SliderCuts, and Sarah Jordan, Founder of Y.O.U underwear and winner of Business Boost 2022.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO of Simply Business, completed the panel.

Looking to the future

Claire Marchais, the owner of Fair-Well, is excited about what the future brings following her win, saying : "Winning the Business Boost competition will have an immense impact on every aspect of our business, and allow us to provide a better service to our remarkable community in North London.

“We’ll be able to introduce new eco-friendly, high quality products to our range and make necessary improvements to our trusty delivery van. The grant also provides a golden opportunity to invest in digital marketing, which will help us to strengthen our existing presence in North London and expand into new postcodes.”

More than one winner

Fair-Well wasn’t the only winner of this year’s Business Boost, with the second place winner securing a coveted mentorship from Baroness Karren Brady CBE. This invaluable mentorship was won by Conscious Landscape, a small team of landscape designers with an ecological approach.

Through their curated landscape designs, the team helps to support the revival of natural ecosystems, the regeneration of soil and water systems, and the creation of diverse habitats.

Conscious Landscape will be able to ask Baroness Brady all their burning business questions and get her advice on how to further grow their business.

The backbone of the UK economy

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, says: "Supporting small businesses is more crucial than ever, and we're delighted to have identified Fair-Well as the recipient of our £25,000 cash grant. With over 17,000 entries, the stories we received from across Britain were inspiring, showcasing resilience, innovation, and a pioneering spirit within the self-employed community.

“Fair-Well's dedication to sustainability and the community aligns with our values at Simply Business, and we’re excited to witness the continued positive impact of their business with this financial injection.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy, and we’re proud to support Claire's significant aspirations for Fair-Well's ongoing journey."

Supporting the UK’s small businesses

With the £25,000 business grant, Claire and the Fair-Well team are able to continue serving their local community. But what about all the other small businesses also making a difference?

Business Boost will be back in 2024 for its fifth year, giving another small business a much needed boost. Keep an eye out to make sure you don’t miss out and to check our entry requirements.

Sign up to be the first to hear about when Business Boost returns.

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Photo: Fair-Well
Rosanna Parrish

Written by

Rosanna Parrish

​​Rosanna Parrish is a Copywriter at Simply Business, specialising in legal and HR content. Trained at London College of Communication, she has been creating content professionally for eight years at publications across the UK and Spain. Starting her career in health insurance, she also worked in education marketing before returning to the insurance world. Rosanna also writes about wellbeing in the workplace. She lives by the sea and does her best writing in coffee shops.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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