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Tell us: Vote for your favourite independent shop, restaurant or business in Ipswich

16:00 10 July 2014

Wendy Childs and her sons John and Robert Manning each run Maudes Attic, House A House in the Town, and the Merchant respectively, which are next door to each other on St Peters Street in Ipswich

Wendy Childs and her sons John and Robert Manning each run Maudes Attic, House A House in the Town, and the Merchant respectively, which are next door to each other on St Peters Street in Ipswich

Nestled alongside the major High Street chains in Ipswich are a treasure trove of independently cafes, restaurants and shops, each working to create a uniqueness that will set Ipswich apart from its neighbours.

Rob HardyRob Hardy

But which ones are your favourites? Do you have a go-to shop that always has the perfect something when every other store has failed to offer any inspiration? Or do you return to the same restaurant time and again because you know the service will be second to none?

All About Ipswich are once again running the Ipswich Independent Business of the Year awards and are calling on readers to nominate their favourites.

This year the competition, supported by the Ipswich Star, aims to truly celebrate those stores that give Ipswich its unique character and feel.

The five businesses with the most votes will then be ‘mystery shopped’ and a panel of expert judges will assess the finalists on friendliness of staff, staff knowledge, customer service, individuality, quality of environment and overall customer experience, amongst other criteria, before deciding which should be named Independent Business of the Year 2014.

Kathy FrostKathy Frost

Last year’s winner was Jacey’s Coffee House, a family run café in the heart of Ipswich.

Owner Colin Williams said: “We are so pleased and honoured to have won the award for Independent Business of the Year in 2013, voted for by our loyal customers. Our success is down to sheer hard-work and keeping the ethos on good home cooking.”

Traders in St Peter’s Street, Ipswich are excited about the awards and Kathy Frost, of gift store LoveOne, said a neighbouring coffee house would get her vote.

She said: “I’d have to say Baker & Barista, their cakes are amazing. But if I could, I’d name them all.”

When asked who he would nominate, Rob Hardy, of ice cream parlour I-Scream, said: “That’s a hard one, but I would say Maud’s Attic, there is always a lot of handy stuff in there. I will add though, that all of the ones I know of are good and know how hard it is to make a living.”

Nominate your favourite independent business here deadline for entries is Thursday, August 14.

The Chinese restaurant fire in Halstead - image from Essex County Fire and Rescue

Firefighters were called to a blaze that broke out at a Chinese restaurant in High Street, Halstead, this afternoon.

Updated GVs of the Apex in Bury St Edmunds.

A popular Bury St Edmunds music venue could save the taxpayer £150,000 a year by raising ticket prices an average of just £2.

Police are investigating

Police have been called to Thurston Road near Bury St Edmunds this evening after a bull escaped its field and onto the road.

The Milburn Centre Syndicate at the West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk have scooped £1 million pounds in the National Lottery. Some of the lucky winners received their cheque at Ickworth Hall Hotel, Suffolk.  Picture by: Jason Mitchell

A syndicate of 20 West Suffolk College staff are celebrating their Lotto Millionaire Raffle win.

breaking-news-generic

Police probing a possible sighting of a man near Colchester Garrison this afternoon have confirmed the incident is not linked to the RAF Marham investigation.

Cecil and Alice Westgate, of Nayland, are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

A combination of wonderful Sunday lunches and the fact that his wife is “perfect in almost every way” has kept Cecil Westgate happily married for the past 70 years.

The main terminal building at Stansted Airport

A fugitive brothel madam who went on the run for seven years abroad before being caught at Stansted Airport is behind bars.

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