07 Jul 2022

Derry city businesses scoop multiple wins including Overall Business of the Year at NW Business Awards 

"The future is bright, the future is local"

Derry city businesses scoop multiple wins including Overall Business of the Year at NW Business Awards 

Owner of Little Acorns Bookstore in Derry, Jenni Doherty took home the top prize of the evening, The Overall Business of the Year Award

Derry's businesses had a fantastic evening at the North West Business Awards, held at The City Hotel in Derry on Saturday June 18.

Little Acorns Bookstore took home the top prize, Overall Business of the Year Award with Ferry Clever scooping two awards, Best Retailer of the Year and Best Use of Marketing, Social Media and/or Social Media.

Hidden City Cafe continued their winning streak taking home North West Food Hero after winning Best Casual Dining Restaurant at the NI Hospitality Awards only three weeks ago.

Owner of Little Acorns Bookstore, Jenni Doherty said she is in complete shock after her well-deserved win.

"What a night, I can't believe it," Jenny said. "I'm still in total shock and it's not often that I'm speechless, I'm just totally blown away.

"We won the Overall Business/Entrepreneur of the year at the North West Business Awards, with the wonderful U105 as the wonderful sponsors.

"Such beautiful words from Lisa McGee of Derry Girls in recognition too. Just wow.

"I want to give a massive thanks to the brilliant organisers City Centre Initiative and Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, to all the generous sponsors and Derry City and Strabane District Council, all the talented and inspiring category nominees and winners.

"Also thank you to all the judges and City Hotel Derry for such a gorgeous setting.

"I want to thank my most precious family, friends and business colleagues; everyone who reads books, creates magic and visits our corner. Your loyalty, encouragement, humour, friendship and love is everything.

"There is no better industry nor city to be in. This is for you and my dear parents. Dreams can come true; follow them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Established in 2011, Little Acorns Bookstore has an overall stock of over 40,000 books, and specialise in Irish-related subjects, authors and publishers. 

Little Acorns can be found at 11 Foyle Street, Derry, BT48 6AL.

Jenni Doherty, Little Acorns Bookstore, winner of the Overall Business of the Year pictured with Jim Roddy, City Centre Initiative, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council (award sponsors), Councillor Sandra Duffy, John Kelpie, Chief Executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council and Anna Doherty, Derry Chamber of Commerce

Christopher Ferry, founder, owner and creator at Ferry Clever was also absolutely lured to take home niot one, but two major awards.

Christopher said: "What a whirlwind! To win one was amazing but to win two was unthinkable.
"I can't help but continue this post by congratulating my good friend Gemma at Independent Derry who works tirelessly to improve local businesses at every single opportunity including me since the moment I opened my doors and will continue to do so.

"What's next? Let's see. The future is bright, the future is local. Thank you, North West Business Awards."

Ferry Clever has become a major hit in Derry with their witty cards, designs and gifts with typical Derry humour as well as all the craic and special guests flooding their Instagram.

Ferry Clever can be found at 17-21 Bishop St, Derry BT48 6PR.  You can also get your hands on Ferry Clever's designs online or on Moonpig.

Christopher Ferry, Ferry Clever, winner of the NW Retailer of the Year award, pictured with the award sponsor Jordan Holmes of JKC, Ceara Ferguson, City Centre Initiative and Anna Doherty Derry Chamber of Commerce

Last but not least, "hidden gem" here in the city, Hidden City Cafe, won Food Hero at the awards.

Commenting on their win, Owner and Chef Justyn McNicholl and Bronagh McNicholl, said: "We are delighted to win Food Hero at the North West Business Awards in The City Hotel. It was a bonus winning the raffle Logan Air flights too!

"Thank you to City Centre Initiative and Londonderry Chamber of Commerce for a fantastic night, well done on your hard work.

"Congrats to all winners and shortlisted finalists. Shout out to Carrick Foods, Graze2u and Toast Accountants. Thank you."

The "Hidden" cafe is a lovely local food spot within the city, serving locally sourced, fresh meals, providing a wide range of vegan and vegetarian dishes.

The local cafe also supports a "pay ahead" scheme which allows the public to support free meals for those who may need them.

Hidden City Cafe is situated at 2 London St, Derry, BT48 6RQ.

Justin and Bronagh McNicholl of Hidden City Café, winner of the NW Food Hero of the Year award, pictured with award sponsor, Eamon McCay of Frylite

Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Jim Roddy, Chief Executive of CCI, said: “I think everyone tonight would agree that we have some of the finest examples of business in the North West here this evening. 

"Our winners and nominees are very deserving of these awards. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to our main sponsor, Derry City and Strabane District Council and our category sponsors for supporting local business and their achievements, without them we would not be able to host these awards.

“Selecting winners from the nominations we receive is always very difficult and our panel of judges worked rigorously through the nominations to select very worthy winners for these awards. 

"Not only our winners, but those shortlisted should be very proud to represent the best of the North West this year. 

"To those who didn’t make the shortlist, we encourage you to keep applying, 2023 could be the year for you all."

Congratulating the winners, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy, said: “I want to extend my congratulations to all who were shortlisted for the North West Business Awards and all who picked up accolades this evening. 

"These businesses are playing a hugely important role in driving the local economy and adding to the diversity of exciting products and services available here in the North West. 

"They are an inspiration to anyone setting out in the business world. This is an exciting time for Derry and Strabane, with our City Deal plans afoot and the opportunities this will bring for both local business and those who choose to invest in our skilled and talented people."

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