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15th annual Caerphilly Business Forum Awards for 2016 The Caerphilly Business Forum Awards are considered one of Wales’s most hotly contested and prestigious business awards. Rewarding success and recognising business excellence within Caerphilly County Borough over the last 12 months, the Awards are open to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors who can compete for one of 9 coveted titles – register now! This year Caerphilly Business Forum will be celebrating the 15th anniversary gala awards dinner on Friday 18th November 2016 – hosted by BBC Wales TV Presenter Jamie Owen at Bryn Meadows Golf, Hotel & Spa. View the categories here To buy your tickets to the CBF Awards, click here.
Community Catalysts launches a free marketing guide Community Catalysts launches a free marketing guide This week we launch a clear and practical marketing guide. The booklet is aimed at people running small community enterprises and ventures that offer health, care and wellbeing services and supports to other people. Written in partnership with the University of Worcester the cost of producing the guide was funded by the prize money we gained from winning the Carnegie Trust’s Enabling State Challenge. To find out more click on the link    
Meet the Boss From postal workers to bus drivers, shop workers to office staff, all can be found patiently queuing at the door of Cwm Bakery waiting for their turn to buy a hand made roll, a freshly baked pasty or simply pick up a loaf of locally sourced bread. The bakery is located on the corner of Gravel Lane and the Market Place in Blackwood town centre and has been run since 2009 by Nathan Bram. Before deciding to run his own business, Nathan worked in a factory but always had an interest in food and baking. Nathan said: As a business Cwm Bakery diversifies a lot, as well as selling a range of products in the shop we also run a delivery service to local factories and offices. It’s hard work running a business but I love being my own boss
Welsh ICE expanding to launch ‘ICE Campus’ Earlier this month Gareth Jones CEO had a special announcement from Welsh ICE, a centre supporting enterprising people and their businesses. Read all about it on their website. We have some pretty amazing news and wanted you to be the first to hear. We are hugely excited to announce the expansion of our start-up community with our third building, the Octagon! This latest acquisition is the result of a million pound investment which will allow us to increase our capacity as well as offer more memberships to entrepreneurs and launch our ICE Campus. We already have a waiting list for the new space, which will be available from September, but if you’re interested in joining our Campus, get in touch with our team. Otherwise we will look forward to welcoming you back here soon.
Thousands show their support for Armed Forces heroes Residents and visitors turned out in their thousands on Saturday (25th June) to show their support at the South Wales Armed Forces Day event. Over 10,000 people descended on Caerphilly to show their support for the Armed Forces community at the event, which started with an impressive military parade through the town centre. Hundreds of Armed Services personnel, cadets and veterans marched through the streets to rapturous applause from the thousands of people of all ages who lined the streets to show their support and to say thank you to the Armed Forces. The parade was followed by a special Drum Head Service, which was held against the backdrop of Caerphilly Castle. The service provided an opportunity to remember those who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and featured contributions from the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones AM and the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns MP. Following this, the attention turned to a fantastic family fun day event on the Owain Glyndwr Playing fields. The area was taken over by military stalls and marquees as well as a music stage and events arena which included semaphore displays, cadet gun run displays, drill displays – and perhaps the highlight of the afternoon, a spectacular parachute jump courtesy of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) Silver Stars parachute display team. Phil Hubbard, Chair of the South Wales Armed Forces Day Committee said: We’re really proud to have been able to hold Armed Forces Day South Wales in Caerphilly for the first time this year. It has become…
Welsh Artist’s New Exhibition Opens in Caerphilly This summer, Y Galeri Caerffili hosts a new exhibition by Welsh artist Louise Collis. Entitled Forty@Forty it features 40 landscape paintings of places which are significant in the artist’s life. The gallery, which is located on the ground floor of the Visitor Centre opposite Caerphilly Castle, specialises in showcasing the work of established and emerging artists. Y Galeri Caerffili was set up in 2015 by Jan Pennell who formally ran the art gallery at Rhondda Heritage Park. Jan has turned her love of art and eye for spotting talented artists into a successful business. The exhibition space is supported by a range of exclusive and handcrafted contemporary arts and crafts such as jewellery ceramics, glass and textiles. Jan said:  Our ethos to promote Welsh art and Welsh artists will hopefully help boost the development of the arts in the area and put Caerphilly on the map as a centre for culture. We certainly seem to be gaining a reputation with the local community and visitors alike. (Photo – Jan Pennell left / Louise Collis right)
Local Salon in Good Spirit after yet another Award A local hair salon has recently added another award to its already bulging trophy cabinet. Set up in 2005 by Donna Friend and her business partner Janine O’Callaghan, Spirit Hair Team on Commercial Street in Ystrad Mynach has won a variety of awards for the staff’s creative skills and customer care, including a “Good Salon Guide 5 Star Award”. Indeed, Donna herself was recently awarded the “Master Craftsman Diploma in Hairdressing”. Spirit‘s latest accolade came when an apprentice at the salon – Josh Griffiths – won an award for the blow dry he completed during his first ever entry into a competition. Josh‘s weeks of practising and hard work in preparation clearly paid off! Donna said: We are really proud of our team and our Academy, everyone works so hard and that’s why they get the results.
Yankee Candles Comes to Bargoed Sweet Essence in Bargoed town centre has become an approved stockist for the famous Yankee Candle brand. The shop, which is located in Under Cardiff Road, is the second to be opened by Stewart Green who has over 20 years experience working in the retail sector. Sweet Essence stocks a range of 80 Yankee Candles as well as bath bombs made by the Bomb Cosmetics brand. Stewart said: At Sweet Essence customer service is a vital part of our business model. We offer a free gift wrapping service and our staff have a great product knowledge to help our customers choose the right candle or bath bomb.
West Sussex business woman relocates to Caerphilly When Tina Topham relocated to Wales from West Sussex she sold her successful letting business. Once settled it wasn’t long before Tina decided to start a new business in Caerphilly town centre and she saw an opportunity to be part of the emerging market selling vaping products. The Vape Place Café opened in 2014 and is located in Pentrebane Street’s café quarter which situated off Cardiff Road by Specsavers. Tina said: I wanted to make the move into retail and this seemed to be an area of the market that we could bring something different to at The Vape Place Café we not only sell products but also offer space for people to socialise, our next idea is to serve cream teas in the cafe.
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