Yorkshire Post’s Best Independent Businesses

by | Feb 13, 2023 | News

Regional Accolade for Honley Shop

A Honley gift shop has been listed as one of Yorkshire’s best independent businesses by readers of The Yorkshire Post.

When readers were asked which independent businesses in Yorkshire they wanted everyone to know about, Honley’s Zebra Jewellery and Gifts was one that was given the honory title.

Zebra was one of forty-eight businesses listed by The Yorkshire Post following a reader poll. The daily regional newspaper had asked which independent businesses in Yorkshire readers love and which they thought everyone should know about. The list included a distillery, garage, gift and farm shops, cafes, restaurants and more.

Shop Local to Support Local

Zebra is run by June McLean, daughter Zoe and shop assistant Sally. About 90 percent of their customers are local with the rest travelling from further afield.

June said: “It was such a wonderful surprise. I had no idea our customers had been voting for us.

“It’s a tough financial climate at the moment for any business, so it’s more important than ever to support your local businesses and to shop local. After all, they are the ones who give back to your local area; whether that’s support with raffle prizes or community events.

“It’s a lovely accolade to have received and as a business owner who has invested a lot of time in their business and village, it certainly makes you feel good to be recognised in such a wonderful way.

“When I told Sally, she told me how much she loves her job. It’s nice to think our customers feel the same way when they shop with us.”

June took over the Westgate, Honley business in 2008. It had previously been owned by mother and daughter, Helga and Kim, from 1999. The name came from Helga’s other daughter who ran a manufacturing company, also called Zebra. They kept the same name and introduced titanium rings that they manufactured themselves to the shop. As titanium became increasingly popular and prices rose, the family expanded their jewellery business into gold and silver.

The family sold the business at a time when June, a former sales director who already owned the building, was looking for a career change.

She took over the jewellery business and diversified into selling cards and gifts. As well as gifts, semi-precious stone jewellery and essentials including greeting cards and watch batteries, within Zebra you will also find precious jewellery, such as wedding and engagement rings.

June said: “I was ready for a career change and it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. Before I knew it, I was learning all about jewellery.”

An Award-Winning Village

Another successful local business helping to put Honley on the map as an award-winning village is Social Progress (SoPro).

The social media management and training company won ‘Member of the Year’ at the inaugural Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce (MYCC) last April. The recognition came as a welcome surprise for the SoPro Team.

Social Progress proactively promotes the valuable services of the MYCC in order to build a connected business community. They beat tough competition from more than 590 members to win the prestigious award.

Owner Janet Bebb said: “We were totally taken by surprise and delighted to have been recognised for our relationship with MYCC over the years.”

Honley’s Wired Coffee and Cake was also awarded Holme Valley Parish Council’s ‘Tidy Trader Award 2022’.

Café owners Oliver and Katie were presented with a silver award in recognition of their contribution to the cleanliness and colourfulness of the Holme Valley during the summer months.

Katie said: “We always like to support the village clean-ups by helping to refuel volunteers with tea, coffee and cake. To have received the award was a pleasant surprise.”

To find out about other businesses in Honley and to explore village life click here.