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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucester food trader wins prestigious award

An independent food trader from Gloucester has outshone dozens of global giants to win an award from Royal Parks and IMG.

Faye Stevens is part of the family that runs the well-known Doughnut Tram and Kings Carvery food vans in Eastgate Street.

They fear their livelihood could be swept away under council plans to revamp the area and said the award helps show how valuable they are to the city.

Faye was recognised for excellence after taking her van The Deli Club to the famous Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park selling hot food to punters from all over the world.

Organisers of the event, which ran from November to January, awarded her a gold rosette for excellent cleanliness- one of only two given out this year.

Faye plans to bring her restored vintage Citroen HY van to events across Gloucester this year.

She said: "I was delighted to receive this award out of 250 or more catering units that attend, of which only a small percentage are owned by small businesses.

"A lot are larger, more corporate businesses from Germany and the Netherlands or London based multi-million pound companies.

"Small business people can easily feel overwhelmed by how competitive it is in today's market, so to be compared against these companies and to have been offered a gold award despite being a small, family run business really felt incredible."

The 26-year-old joined her parents' food business, run under the Enjoy Cafes umbrella, when she was 17 and today is manager and co-owner of The Doughnut Tram.

Her father Matthew Stevens said the family feels at imminent risk of losing it all as Gloucester City Council, which owns most of the land and buildings around Eastgate Shopping Centre and Greyfriars, wants to regenerate the area.

Mr Stevens said there is a question mark over whether the food van businesses in the area will be relocated or simply not have their licences renewed. He plans to speak on traders behalf at a licensing meeting on March 14 where the issue will be discussed.

He said: "Faye is just beginning what she hopes will be a lifelong career in catering and already she is under threatt of having the Doughnut Tram taken away.

"She is one of the licensed street traders whose livelihood is currently under threat from the city council's planned new street trading policy that will, if adopted, effectively ban her from running her business in Eastgate street."

Faye hopes the award will help councillors see her value.

She said: "I think it shows that no matter where you come from or what you are doing for a living that if you do it well, with everything you have, that even higher up people will eventually recognise your efforts.

"I love my job and I'm very honoured to have been noticed.

"It's so easy to not notice small businesses and the people who work extraordinarily hard behind them, and one day we might look up and realise that there's none left anymore.

"That's why it's important to celebrate small businesses and the contributions they make."

Punchline contacted Gloucester City Council for a response but was told it could not confirm any details of the meeting until the agenda was published.

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