Updated version: March 2022
As we head into Spring 2022 already, it's easy to forget how hard things were this time last year. 2021 was a strange time, with activity curtailed and prospects for many small businesses looking very bleak. Fast forward to now and it feels almost like a different world.
Image: Ipswich Athena Hall
In December I featured my favourite local Suffolk businesses, especially good for Christmas gifting. This year I am going to feature new local businesses that I love, have just discovered or had recommended to me, for each season during 2022. And here is the first instalment for Spring 2022.
Catch Up: You can read my December Suffolk Businesses Top Ten HERE
My top business to watch in December was UMeltz from Kesgrave, Suffolk. It's a family business started in the pandemic and offering well made beeswax melts with a clear focus on sustainability. We really enjoyed a house full of the gorgeous smells of Christmas.
10. New Suffolk Based Tech - The Sounds U Like
My first business to watch in 2022 is a Stowmarket based small business. This time its a technology company called Eggcellent Lighting who launched a revolutionary programmable baby night light, called The Sounds U Like in 2021. The CEO David Green has spent a number of years perfecting a product to 'out do' his rivals in what is a very crowded and busy market.
Whilst the product is made from plastic, the unique and sustainable part is the packaging. Its pared back, with a focus on recycling. If you are a new parent or know someone who is, this might be a great gift idea for under £50.
Find out more here: https://www.eggcellentlighting.com/
9. Sustainable and Delicious Food and Goodies - Juniper Barn Shop and Cafe
One thing that Suffolk delivers in spades are good days out. Finding places that offer a great coffee, good food and a bit of retail therapy all wrapped up in a lovely brand are not hard to find but a real favourite is Juniper Barn on Bridge Street in Rendham.
Small and perfectly formed its great for a stop off for a coffee or to fill up on some local goodies. I just love paces that sell lovely things that haven't traveled far.
Plan your visit here: https://www.juniperbarnsuffolk.co.uk/
8. Revolutionising the Way We Buy - Bonitas Whole Foods
Ollie and Tree, the owners of Stowmarket's newest retail experience have a real passion for sustainability and are doing their bit to help educate us all in how to make small changes. Standing in their store you get the sense that this is far from the towns best kept secret. They greet everyone like old friends, which in the current retail climate is like a breath of fresh air.
Ollie was very helpful and supportive with some great suggestions. If we are all to go plastic free and reduce packaging waste to zero, places like Bonitas Whole Foods are the way forward. Their Tavern Street store supports the idea of buying a 'little and often' which goes some way to reducing food waste and helps us all to start to reduce our impact on the planet.
Plan your visit here: https://www.bonitaswholefoods.com/
7. Sustainability Focus for Suffolk Clothing - Maria Callisto Luxury Lingerie
One thing that is very clear about Suffolk is that the variety of sustainable businesses is diverse and growing. Maria Callisto is leading the way, producing bespoke lingerie that uses repurposed fabrics. The range is diverse and they really live and breath their values as a business.
Find out more here: https://www.mariacallisto.com/
6. Changing Our Perceptions of Funerals - Rosedale Funeral Homes
Being 'green' doesn't stop when you do! Sustainable funerals took off in a big way last year. One East of England company trying to change our mindset about how funerals should be done is Rosedale Funeral Home - a successful funeral director business with six offices across Norfolk and Suffolk. They even use pedal power to get you to your own funeral. How good is that?
To find out more about a different approach to funeral care click here: https://www.rosedalefuneralhome.co.uk/
5. Body Confidence in Bury St Edmunds - Truth Non-Surgical Clinic
As an independent business it can be hard to establish yourself when there are many larger operators to contend with. Amelia Moore (no relation) has created her business with a level of conviction and an attention to detail that's rare. Having weathered the pandemic, things clearly are going from strength to strength.
Take a look at Truth's transformative services: https://truthnonsurgical.co.uk/
4. A Different Kind of Takeway Coffee Cup - Frugalpac is Revolutionary
When I think of the throw-away coffee cups and lids I've used over the years, I could cringe. I think owning up to being wasteful and accepting responsibility is something we all have to do if things are going to change.
As many as 2.5 billion paper coffee cups are thrown away in the UK each year, while just one in 400 cups is recycled because it is difficult to removed their plastic coating to recycle the card. But Ipswich company Frugalpac is on a mission to change that with its product Frugal Cup.
Find out more about this coffee cup revolution: https://frugalpac.com/frugal-cup/
3. Plastic Free Gifting At Last! From Suffolk With Love
With our growing focus on responsible consumption, it can sometimes get forgotten when we go out and buy a gift. So I was excited to find From Suffolk with Love. They create little gift boxes that are just perfect for saying thank you, sharing a message of support, birthdays or just to surprise someone you care about.
From Suffolk With Love offers planet conscious, plastic free gift boxes of handpicked items from some of the best small producers in Suffolk. It all makes keeping it 'local' very easy.
Find your perfect guilt free gift here: https://fromsuffolkwithlove.co.uk/
2. Helping to Reinvent How We Buy Clothes - Cool Blue Vintage
Tucked away in the myriad variety of shops at Stonham Barns is Cool Blue Vintage. Its a small unit packed with vintage clothes, ideal when you have a 16 year old eager to do their bit.
When you walk around Covent Garden you will see a growing number of fantastic vintage outlets. Some sell by the weight and others have quite literally stuffed the place to the gunnels.
Vintage is starting to appear across Suffolk but at a rate slower than Covent Garden. Cool Blue Vintage is clearly ahead of the curve.
Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/coolbluevintage/
1. Green Suffolk - A Website Celebrating Our Green County
Finally, here is a website that promotes Suffolk and all things sustainable. Its a brilliant resource to learn about how each of us can play an important part to help save the planet.
Their mission is to make Suffolk the 'greenest county' in England. It really does a good job at pulling everything together in one place and helps to explain different things clearly and concisely.
Take a look at all the brilliant information about Suffolk businesses, lifestyle changes, recycling and the great Suffolk outdoors.
Find out more here: https://www.greensuffolk.org/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm Stephen Moore FCIM, a Strategic Marketing Consultant living in beautiful Suffolk. I support businesses large and small in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and London. I have been writing about marketing developments for 20 years with articles in The Metro, City AM, Fresh Business Thinking, AllWork, The Marketer and Marketing Week.