To say that Gloucestershire has exploded in the past 15 years is an understatement. More investment, combined with the rejuvenation of previously derelict areas like the docks in Gloucester alone, has created an amazing environment for businesses to both launch and grow. To hammer this home, below are the six local businesses that perfectly showcase the innovation happening right here in our home county.
In a field of recruitment companies that all look and feel the same, Hooray are a breath of fresh air. Starting in 2017, Hooray have exploded on to the scene due to their unique position as an independently focused and ethically minded agency; defined by a staunch commitment to get the best people into the right jobs.
With passion and tenacity, Hooray likewise focus on having a positive impact both in Gloucestershire and across the South West. By working with good natured businesses and non-profit organisations, Hooray believe that they can make every success, no matter how small. worth celebrating.
Goose and Gander
In 2013, Maz and Olly founded Goose & Gander. Despite having no experience in the fashion world, the pair saw a gap in the market and opened up a shop on their local high street. Through loads of trial and error, they turned their golden idea into one of, if not the best, unisex clothing brands in the South West.
In 2018 they upgraded to a a workspace that fit the scope of their ambition and, within a year, they crafted their own creative space to keep that vision, and the clothing that stems from it, as strong as can be. As well as having an amazing catalogue of clothes, they also have a cool YouTube channel that I highly recommend checking out.
Tubby Tom's makes a huge variety of handmade sauces and seasonings that will completely elevate your food game. The eponymous Tubby Tom started the business in 2014 when he began selling of batches his tasty BBQ sauce at his local farm shop. What started as a little experiment became a big seller -- and, later that summer, Tom took it upon himself to cater at the Barn on the Farm festival.
Tom spent the next four years growing his business and expanding his skills, eventually getting Tubby Tom's listed in Harvey Nichols. In 2018, he built a production kitchen from scratch with the help of family and friends. Constructing this 'Sauce Temple', as Tom himself calls it, gave the business the backbone it needed to keep expanding. Tubby Tom's now supplies 85 outlets, and with new ventures exporting into Latvia, France and the Netherlands, even the biggest sceptic must admit that their future is looking good.
Toddle Born Wild
After nine years adventuring in the RAF, Hannah became a mum in 2014. She soon realised, however, that there weren't any products that would protect her son's skin when he came on adventures with her. In 2017, she made her first dribble proof lip balm in her kitchen, devised a business plan, and Toddle Born Wild was born.
2018 involved all the product design, brand design, testing and development. Efforts to secure investment also began and, in 2019, Toddle secured £150,000 of funds. That year also saw them secure UK suppliers for ingredients and packing. Despite launching in March 2020, right before that pandemic thingy, Toddle Born Wild has continually grown due to its universal appeal among parents. In 2022, Hannah successfully pitched Toddle on Dragon's Den, where she accepted some fantastic offers that all but guarantee Toddle's future success.
After a bracing and inspiring coastal walk in Cornwall, 1993, Weird Fish was born with what they call a simple mission: to produce well-priced, well-made and distinctive clothes that become instant feel-good favourites in people's wardrobes. Through trusted suppliers and a staunch ethical policy, Weird Fish, based in Tewkesbury, offer unique clothing that balances style with practicality; giving you versatile threads ready for any occasion.
Since 2019, Weird Fish have been making sustainability a key part of their business model. After undergoing a digital overhaul, they saw record profits in 2021; and in 2022, they relocated their warehouse to keep up with the rising demand and prepare for their overseas expansion. It's safe to say that, through sound principles and good products, Weird Fish have set themselves up for a rewarding time going forward.
ProCook is a unique specialised kitchenware company launched 25 years ago in Gloucester. The premise, and their strength, is simple: high-quality kitchenware at affordable prices. The quality and value of their products provided, and still provides, exceptional value for money; expanding the access your average consumer has to long-lasting and dependable kitchenware.
In 2019, ProCook acquired Steamer Trading, adding scale and national footprint, and they accelerated online trading to meet increased demand during the pandemic. With intentions to become listed on the London Stock Exchange, ProCook are a prime example of the fact that, when your business model involves making good products available to everyone, success will naturally follow.