Emma Grubb of Botanic York

The Federation of Small Business (FSB) in North Yorkshire launched its Small Business Day in March, inviting local businesses to join them for exclusive networking and new business opportunities.

Local businesses benefitted from information on how to help them become more effective, as well as potentially finding new suppliers and business support at the FSB Expo.

The FSB North Yorkshire event was hosted by Jane Coope, founder Liquorice HR, and guest speakers included Alex Albone from Pipers Crisps, Simon Bourne from the Hand Dyed Shoe Company and Jacob Hill from OffPloy - who spoke about the passion and innovation required in making a business stand out.

Examples of Yorkshire businesses who are already are demonstrating that creativity and passion for their product, and a willingness to try new things, are Raisthorpe Distillery, Botanic and Dog & Bone Vintage.

Sales at Raisthorpe Distillery in Thixendale on the Wolds are booming, thanks to the popularity of their Yorkshire Tonics, which are blended using quassia. Raisthorpe operations director, Oliver Medforth, says: “Most tonics include quinine, but we prefer to use quassia which is a more natural product, and not quite as bitter. It enables the sharp, crisp flavours of our tonics to shine through.”

Botanic in York is an unusual and exotic house plant shop founded by bat ecologist Emma Grubb (pictured), who had time on her hands while the bats were hibernating. After finding it difficult to source interesting plants locally sold by people who knew their plants, Emma decided to open a botanically themed shop with a focus on exotic and unusual indoor plants including foliage plants, cacti and succulents - the first of its kind in North Yorkshire.

Dog & Bone Vintage in York is the passion project of Nic Barker, who fell in love with wearing vintage during his university days. Buying and selling not only became a passion, but a necessity to help fund that lifestyle itself. From online, to market stalls, the first clothing shop on Gillygate was born in 2013, and Dog & Bone now stocks a huge range of vintage fashion sourced from across Europe and America, as well as lifestyle and apothecary products.

Susie Haywood
Article by Susie Haywood
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