STEVE AND RACHEL WIN OUR £1,000 TOP PRIZE
Ecstatic village shopkeepers Steve and Rachel Rousseau were today £1,000 richer after winning Business 2004.
The stunned couple, who own the Wishing Well Stores in Fiskerton, clinched the top prize in the contest run by the Lincolnshire Echo and The Rotary Club of Lincoln.
They received their prizes from Lincoln’s deputy mayor, Councillor Eddie Strengiel, in a ceremony at The Guildhall.
And Mr and Mrs Rousseau, who moved into the shop last October with their daughter Jessica (10 months) planned to plough their winnings straight back into the business.
Four other businesses also won prizes in the competition sponsored by the Lindum Group and Lincolnshire Co-operative.
Mr and Mrs Rousseau said the £1,000 was a real shot in the arm, coming in the wake of a Countryside Agency Vital Villages grant which has allowed them to start making improvements.
“We are overwhelmed and thrilled to win,” they said.
“We are having a lot of work done and a refit is scheduled for June 7, so the money will help.”
Mr Rousseau is originally from Zimbabwe.
He was a pub industry manager until the couple returned to the county from Lichfield.
“Our business has really taken off. We thought it would take 12 months to get to where we are now,” he said.
“But we try to get what people want and offer a delivery service.”
Mrs Rousseau, a former personnel officer who worked for Lincolnshire Police, said the shop is selling new lines and delivering the Echo. She hoped customers would read tonight’s edition!
A Business 2004 judge said: “We were impressed by Mr and Mrs Rousseau’s enterprise. So many other village shops are closing.”
The runner-up in the contest was funeral director Jonathan Whiting.
He and his wife Julie were presented with £300 and congratulated by Lindum Group financial controller Ralph Wilford.
Hotwire Media, a media solutions enterprise from Sparkhouse Studios in Lincoln, came third.
The business, run by Lucy Craymer, Robin Hennessy and Darius Laws was presented with £200 by Prince’s Trust business support manager Gordon Brookes.
Echo business editor Glynis Fox presented highly-commended certificates and bottles of bubbly to Steven Delahunty of Radiant Energy, North Hykeham, and Rebecca Stamp of The Jade Tearoom in Lincoln. The city sheriff Peter Robinson, sheriff’s lady Sheila Robinson and Rotary Club president-elect John Rose also attended the awards ceremony.