Eight compete for mentoring prize

Ellie Lloyd who runs Queen of Hearts Vintage Crockery. Picture Garth Hamer
Ellie Lloyd who runs Queen of Hearts Vintage Crockery. Picture Garth Hamer

Eight local firms have made a shortlist in a competition offering free advertising in the Lancaster Guardian or Morecambe Visitor plus mentoring from business leaders.

They are among more than 1,100 firms which have entered the newspaper industry’s acclaimed Local Business Accelerators (LBA) campaign.

More than 500 newspapers are taking part in the initiative, which is open to firms aged between one and five years old.

Local winners will go to the national finals where they could win a year’s mentoring from Dragon’s Den’s Deborah Meaden plus a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative ad agency.

The eight firms on our shortlist are: SCS Logistics, Queen of Hearts Crockery, Drinking Vinegar, Potts’ Pies, Broadband for the Rural North, Porter’s Trading, The Bridle House of Torrisholme and Legal and Mutual.

Every week between now and the announcement of the local winners in February we will throw the spotlight on one of the shortlisted firms.

This week we begin with Queen of Hearts Crockery, which was set up in summer 2011 by Ellie Lloyd, 29, who hires vintage crockery for events like weddings, christenings and charity events.

Working from home in Caton she offers the hire of cups, saucers, tea pots, sugar bowls, milk jugs and sandwich plates.

“It’s been going well and we’ve have done a number of events – mostly weddings but we have also done a couple of tea party events and a couple of village hall events for the Queen’s Diamong Jubilee.

“We have also now teamed up with a caterer, Mandy Farren of High Societea Vintage Tea Parties from Bentham, who can also supply food for people’s events.

“These kind of tea parties are becoming more popular so I have found the cost of the china has being going up at the same time as our prices are having to come down because more people are offering a similar service.

Ellie believes winning the LBA contest would help her to stand out from the crowd.

“The first year’s budget was spent on stock so after that there wasn’t much left for advertising so hopefully that side of it would boost my sales,” she said.

“This seemed like a good opportunity to get some expertise from somone who knows what they are talking about and can help me to grow the business.”

Call 07817587979 for further details.