Kelso contenders enjoyed the taste of victory at the double at this year’s Scotland’s Business Awards.
The Cream Chimneys, a cafe and gift shop in the Square, was named best new business, and Rutherfords Micropub, also in the Square, won the prize for best innovation.
They were among hundreds of finalists from all over Scotland at the Marriott hotel in Glasgow for this year’s award ceremony.
“We went along because we thought it would be a nice night out - we didn’t expect to win!” said Jane Box, owner of The Cream Chimneys.
“The first award was for best new business, we saw our name and thought ‘great, we have made the final five’. Then when the winner was revealed we were absolutely amazed!”
The couple opened the cafe following a five-week refurbishment in May 2017.
“It had previously been a jewellers with three or four tables at the back,” Jane said. “We put the coffee shop at the front and spent a long time sourcing gifts. We do leather and throws, and we display local artist’s work. We try to buy local wherever we can.”
Jane and husband Wayne moved from Nottinghamshire last year to launch the venture; a childhood dream of Jane’s.
“My husband worked for Tesco for 30 years, and I was a vicar, but I have always wanted a coffee shop. When Wayne took early retirement we thought if we don’t do it now we never will. It’s been a huge learning curve but Kelso is a beautiful town and the people are so friendly, we’ve been made to feel very welcome.”
Debbie and Simon Rutherford of Rutherfords Micropub were also celebrating at the grand final in Glasgow.
The bar, opened in 2015, remains Scotland’s only micropub selling cask ales. And late last year it added another feather to its cap with the launch of specialist microbatch spirits, DeliQuescent.
Gin range highlights include rhubarb and elderflower, cherry bakewell gin liqueuer, and even a parma violet shimmering gin.
“We love to experiment with flavours, and the DeliQuescent range gives us a great base for some new cocktail ideas too” Simon said.
“It was an amazing night for Kelso,” Debbie added.
“We were overwhelmed to win the best innovation in Scotland award, but I suppose it is quite bold to have a pub in Scotland that doesn’t sell lager or show sport.”