Devon-based gift company Life’s Little Recipes has been doubly honoured in this year’s UK Enterprise Awards. Life’s Little Recipes (LLR) rose above the competition, winning the award for ‘Most Thoughtful Wellbeing Gift Enterprise’, while sister company Unimole & Friends was awarded ‘Most Creative Children’s Wellbeing Toy 2023’.
Now in their seventh year, the SME News UK Enterprise Awards programme continues to recognise outstanding businesses in a diverse pool of industries and sectors. The awards pay homage to ‘the best of the best’, regardless of industry or sector. They showcase a selection of SMEs of varying sizes, strengths, and interests, highlighting the hard work and passion that business owners across the UK pour into their enterprises.
Life’s Little Recipe’s Founder, Fiona Thomas says “It’s a huge honour to be recognised in these awards, and more so because the category is just perfect for our brand and what we love to create.”
Life’s Little Recipes was established by Fiona in 2016, following her career as a cancer nurse and psychotherapy counsellor. Reflecting on the inspiration behind LLR, Fiona recalls “I realised that there are a couple of ingredients we all need for a happy life. When you strip everything else away, everyone wants to be loved and they want to be recognised for who they are.”
Now, 7 years later, Fiona has created over 35 unique little ‘Recipes’ – small gift bags containing quirky, fun and sentimental keepsakes. Each recipe bag has 6 ‘ingredients’ (keepsakes) accompanied by a recipe card, explaining the significance of each token. The bags’ meanings are tailored to cover a wide range of sentiments, personal milestones and life events, and they can be found on the Life’s Little Recipes website as well as Amazon, eBay and Etsy. LLR was shortlisted in Amazon’s ‘Small Business Awards’ in 2019 and as ‘Small Business of the Year’ in the West Country Women Awards in 2022.
The concept for Unimole & Friends started to build in Fiona’s mind during the pandemic, as she realised how many children were experiencing self-doubt, low self-esteem, connection issues and struggling to articulate their feelings about themselves, compounded by the bewildering turn of world events during the isolation of the lockdowns. Unimole is now the lead character in 7 inspiring children’s stories entitled ‘Unimole Tails’. This lovable magical creature has a special way of appearing when children need her most in these short stories. More than a whimsical adventure, the tales are designed to positively affect children’s wellbeing, helping them develop a strong foundation of self-worth and personal confidence.
A true multi-media star, Unimole also features in a range of animated special occasion E-cards, while appearing in the ‘real world’ as an enchanting plush toy. Fiona comments, “Now, more than ever, our children need to know that they are loved, they are valued, and they are uniquely special. Unimole’s mission is to share this message.”
Awards Coordinator of the UK SME Awards, Kaven Cooper, took a moment to discuss the success of this year’s programme: “I am proud to have hosted this year’s UK Enterprise Awards, where I have had contact with a widely diverse selection of individuals and companies which, in essence, raise the bar for business within the UK. It has been a pleasure to be involved with the programme and I want to wish our winners all the best for the years to come – and congratulations again.”