Sustainable shop awarded £25,000 grant

A sustainable North London refill shop and delivery service has been selected from 17,000 UK-wide applicants as the winner of the Simply Business £25,000 Business Boost grant. Fair-Well is a store in Finsbury Park and a mobile home delivery service that offers package-free refills of pantry staples, such as laundry liquid, olive oil, pasta, rice, nuts and seeds, which can be collected in store or delivered via a converted vintage milk float. 


Established in 2019, Fair-Well’s mission is to confront the plastic pollution crisis head-on by eliminating plastic packaging from the final stage of the distribution chain, making plastic-free options more accessible and convenient for consumers.


Claire Marchais, owner of Fair-Well, is looking to use the grant to introduce new products to their range, revamp their delivery van and invest in digital marketing with the aim of strengthening their existing presence in North London and expanding into new postcodes. Claire, left, owner of Fair-Well comments: “Winning the Business Boost competition will have an immense impact on every aspect of our business, and allow us to provide a better service to our remarkable community in North London. We will be able to introduce new eco-friendly, high quality products to our range and make necessary improvements to our trusty delivery van. The grant also provides a golden opportunity to invest in digital marketing, which will help us to strengthen our existing presence in North London and expand into new postcodes.”


The winner was selected by an expert panel which included Simply Business’s Small Business Ambassador Baroness Karren Brady CBE, the founder and CEO of SliderCuts, Mark Maciver and the winner of BBC’s the Apprentice 2022 and co-founder of Oh So Yum, Hapreet Kaur.


Small Business Ambassador; Baroness Karren Brady CBE comments: “I was thrilled to be a part of the Business Boost judging panel and to support the competition this year. I understand the significance the cash prize holds for a small business, but beyond that, the injection of belief and confidence in your business can be equally transformative. I empathise with the hurdles small business owners face in securing investment and funding. Fair-Well, with its dedicated commitment to addressing the plastic pollution crisis, is a unique and innovative project. Claire is an exceptionally worthy winner, and I’m genuinely excited to witness the positive impact her vision will have.”


Small business insurance provider, Simply Business, designed the competition to support businesses in the face of significant economic challenges – including the cost of living rising at an alarming rate, energy bill increases, inflation and supply challenges. The recent SME Insights Report from Simply Business highlighted the impact the cost-of-living crisis continues to have on UK SMEs, with more than a quarter (26%) of small business owners believing that they will be forced to cease trading if the outlook for their business does not improve.


Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented: “Supporting small businesses is more crucial than ever, and we’re delighted to have identified Fair-Well as the recipient of our £25,000 cash grant. With 17,000 entries, the stories we received from across Britain were inspiring, showcasing resilience, innovation, and a pioneering spirit within the self-employed community. Fair-Well’s dedication to sustainability and the community aligns with our values at Simply Business, and we are excited to witness the continued positive impact of their business with this financial injection. Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy, and we are proud to support Claire’s significant aspirations for Fair-Well’s ongoing journey.”


Small businesses can sign up to be the first to hear about next year’s Business Boost here: