Finalists revealed for Southern Oxfordshire New Business Competition

Ten top new businesses including three from Thame, have been revealed as finalists in the Southern Oxfordshire New Business Competition 2017, organised by Jennings and supported by Olympic rowing gold medalist, Tim Foster MBE.


This year’s shortlist includes Rambles Pet Care, founded by a 29-year-old former PR consultant who swapped her London lifestyle to start-up a business in Wantage offering services such as dog walking.


Joanna Menzies, director of Rambles Pet Care, said: ‘Running my own business has been a dream come true, so to be shortlisted for the Southern Oxfordshire New Business Competition, really is amazing! I’m so excited to be in with the chance of winning this fantastic prize package. Since starting Rambles Pet Care, I’ve been learning as I go, so the expert business guidance and mentoring on offer would be hugely invaluable to me!”


The winner of the competition, organised by commercial property landlords and business mentors, Jennings, will receive a prize package worth over £10,000 including an office at Monument Business Park and a host of professional services provided by SONBC sponsors: Blooberry Design, Ask4Support Ltd, Mushroom Soufflé and Clark Howes.


Chris Williams, commercial manager for organiser and sponsor, Jennings, said: “The SONBC 2017 finalists represent a diverse number of sectors, but all share a passion for making a success of their business. We would like to offer our congratulations to all finalists who should feel proud to have got this far on what we hope will be a long prosperous business journey.  Whittling down our class of ten to just one winner and runner up will be a tough process for the SONBC judges.”   


The SONBC 2017 finalists are:

  • Active Paws (based in Chalgrove) – a fitness activity centre offering a range of fun training classes for dogs and their owners including muscle tone and conditioning, puppy training, first aid and gun dog training
  • Horsebox Coffee Co (Dorchester Upon Thames) – after returning from a trip to Peru, this horsebox owner took it out of retirement to create a coffee bar. Life is now spent on the road offering ethical and sustainable specialty coffee at events
  • Mark Hewitson Photography Ltd (based in Thame) – Now with his own studio, Mark is fulfilling is childhood dream, creating beautiful imagery of families, children and animals
  • Rambles Pet Care (based in Wantage) – this business offers a complete contrast for its founder who swapped the bright lights of London to offer a friendly, reliable service including dog walking, visits and feeds for cats and other small animals plus a pet sitting service
  • Smurf-fit (based in Watlington) – the founder of this business turned to fitness after giving birth to her first child and now offers fitness classes to improve people’s health such as kettle bells, boxercise and body conditioning
  • Starbuck and James Ltd (based in Wallingford) – architects who believe that changing a space can change someone’s life. Their fun and engaging approach starts with a brainstorming session and for each of these undertaken, 10% of their fee is donated to a local homeless charity
  • Style and Sophistication (based in Wallingford) – this flourishing salon offers luxury and affordable hairdressing giving clients the best possible service and advice for homecare and keeping up to date with the latest products and trends
  • Tekat (based in Thame) – this started as a web design business but has grown to offer websites for mobile devices alongside services including search engine optimisation, online security and branding advice
  • The Deli at No: 5 (based in Thame) – after taking the plunge and turning their love of quality foods into a business that offers a wide range of hand sourced produce from the UK, this Deli is a developing family business
  • Trust on Tap (based in Long Wittenham) – an online system that match makes carers with families who need support looking after older generations


SONBC Finalist, Mark Hewitson, added: “I am honoured and humbled to be a finalist in SONBC. Since our opening last year we have gone from strength to strength. Winning this award would provide recognition of our place among the finest South Oxfordshire businesses while the support provided in the prize package will no doubt assist with ensuring our continued future growth.”


The SONBC winner will be presented with an award by Tim Foster and his wife Joy (founder of digital start-up resource agency Tech Pixies and social enterprise Made with Joy) on 7 April 2017.


For further information, visit:

Like or share our posts with your friends:

Upcoming Events

9:00 am Authentic French Market @ Area around Town Hall
Authentic French Market @ Area around Town Hall
Oct 19 @ 9:00 am – Oct 21 @ 5:00 pm
Authentic French Market @ Area around Town Hall
The Authentic French Market returns to Thame on Thursday 19th October for 3 days.
7:00 pm Do you want more out of life? Th... @ The White House, Thame, OX9 3JS
Do you want more out of life? Th... @ The White House, Thame, OX9 3JS
Oct 19 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Do you want more out of life? Thame life coach Roo Davies will offer some tips at her open evening @ The White House, Thame, OX9 3JS
Most of us at some time or other want to get more out of our lives – and life coaching can help that to become a reality. Thame-based life coach, Roo Davies, is hosting an open evening to talk about what life coaching is all about and describe why and how people can benefit from the process – sometimes leading to transformative changes. During the evening Roo will explain her unique ‘Coaching Umbrella’ technique and how it helps her clients to can make sustainable change happen. This free event is informal, so you can choose to stay for the duration or drop in. There will be a brief presentation at 7:30pm followed by a Q&A session and plenty of opportunities to chat one to one…


7:30 pm Pop Up Thame – Tex-Mex Evening @ Towersey Village Hall
Pop Up Thame – Tex-Mex Evening @ Towersey Village Hall
Oct 27 @ 7:30 pm
Pop Up Thame - Tex-Mex Evening @ Towersey Village Hall
Tex-Mex Evening 19:30 Friday, 27th October 2017 Towersey Village Hall Towersey £15/adult – £10/child (Free entry to those who are just watching the band!) Booking Essential   The Tex-Mex Menu – • Fixed Banquet Menu •- Nachos Grandes (Nachos with salsa, guacamole, cheese and sour cream – yum!) Blazing Saddles Soup (Chilli bean and tomato) KFC Kathy’s Fried Chicken (although Noelle’s cooking it!) Dolly’s Rack (BBQ Rack of Ribs) Billy the Kid Cups (Tortilla filled with Chilli Beef) Alamo Enchilada (with chicken or veggies) Saloon Salad (Mixed salad) Ricochet Rice (Mexican rice) Granny’s Hot Dogs (kids only) ~~~ Slutty Brownie (yes its real name) Key Lime Pie Margarita Cheesecake

Recent Tweets

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Got a news story? Or do you want to reach out to the people of Thame?