The Independent Awards 2020

The Winners!

The winners of the 2020 awards represent the best in class – from high street shops and product innovation to passion and community, they each found a way to thrive throughout one of the toughest years the country (world!) has ever seen.  

Adored by both of our expert judging panels, each winner has such big dreams for the future of their business and we can’t wait to see what comes next and how the £10,000 prize money helps them get there – made possible thanks to our small business supporters NatWest, Three, Dell, Royal Mail and Pinterest.

Passion & Purpose Award Winner

Luminary Bakery

Started in 2014, Luminary is a women’s organisation that creates opportunities for women who have lived through extreme violence and disadvantage. Providing training and employment opportunities along with support and community, Covid has forced them to extend their deliveries beyond London – an avenue they hope to continue to develop in 2021.

Access to some form of protection and professional skill to people suffering from domestic abuse feels like a liberation from a real world of terror. I think they are really great.

Sir Tim Smit KBE

Products of 2020 Winner

Blushing Cook

Always baking for friends’ birthdays and weddings, Sammi began Blushing Cook with a mission to combine quality ingredients and delicious flavours with visually beautiful designs. Adapting to 2020 has meant her postal brownies have become a huge hit and she hopes to grow and expand her business to reach more people in the future.

Blushing Cook’s products exude quality and craftsmanship as well as an amazing eye for detail. Each product is delicate and brave all at once, as well as being packaged beautifully.

Harriet Vine MBE and Rosie Wolfenden MBE

Newcomer Award Winner

Cocoa Publishing

Beginning as a way to help build her young daughter’s confidence after she experienced difficulties at school because of the colour of her skin, Serlina designed and published the Cocoa Girl Magazine. Filled with inspiring and empowering content for young Black Girls, she aims to educate black and white children about one another’s culture.

Serlina is bringing a new editorial voice to a very traditional industry. A fresh and powerful perspective, Cocoa Publishing left me hopeful, and very much deserves this award for this important project.

Marcia Kilgore

Community Brand Award Winner

One Million Lovely Letters

Jodi began writing letters after being poorly and bed-bound and put a call out on social media asking if anyone needed a handwritten letter to remind them of their wonder. She received over 200 messages overnight and the One Million Lovely Letters project began. Her community has been built through kindness and taken on a life of its own.

What Jodi has created has really touched my heart. She demonstrates the importance of kindness and reaching out to those in need. The emotional energy it must take is just incredible.

Joe Wicks MBE

High Street Shop of 2020 Winner


Showcasing the craftsmanship of Ethiopian weavers and fairtrade producers, Sancho’s celebrates diversity, sustainability and community in a notoriously challenging industry. Their high street shop has allowed them to become part of their local community, test ideas and connect with customers.

Stunning ethically produced and sustainable products. Novel pricing model and great outreach with their slow fashion show. A beacon of light in a ragged trade.

Mark Constantine OBE

Modern Crafter Award Winner

Grain and Knot

Beginning as a way to get away from her screen, Sophie is passionate about preserving a traditional craft with a modern edge. Championing community over competition, she has big ambitions to share her work and techniques with more people through workshops, pop up spaces and a book.

I just love the whole philosophy and the beautiful lines of each design. Sophie is making everyday objects fabulous.

Jay Blades

People's Choice Award Winner

Meticulous Ink

Born in 2010 from a life long obsession with stationery, Meticulous Ink is a paper emporium that allows people to experience the joy of letterpress printing and discover new hobbies such as calligraphy and printing.

A fantastic example of independent high street shops bringing colour to grey. I’m so thrilled that Athena’s community have shown her this support and wish her many more happy years in retail!

Holly Tucker

With thanks to our small business supporters