A FORMER Dragon and stationery giant has given recognition to a small Lake District business.

Theo Paphitis chose Windermere based Vie’s Jamaican Rum Cakes as one of his Small Business Sunday winners.

The retail tycoon chooses six small business winners each week for a retweet and shout out on his Twitter.

Company founder Elaine Rémy said the recognition on Mother’s Day weekend had even more meaning to her.

RECOGNISED: The business was chosen as a winner by Theo Paphitis

RECOGNISED: The business was chosen as a winner by Theo Paphitis

Her business is inspired by her mum Agnes Viola Henry (Vie’s) special cake recipe, which has been passed down through several generations of the family.

Sadly, Vie died in 2018, a year before Ms Remy decided to move to Cumbria and set up the baked goods business.

“It felt amazing, I couldn’t believe it,” said Ms Rémy.

“I’d only been entering for six weeks before; this was the seventh time.

“For some people it takes years to get recognised and I was even more touched because it was on Mother’s Day.

“Vie’s Jamaican Rum Cakes is all about my mum so I was really happy about that.

“My mum’s favourite number was seven and it had been seven weeks since I first entered until I won.

“It was nice to get these little signs.”

Products from Vies Jamaican Rum Cakes

Products from Vie's Jamaican Rum Cakes

The businesswoman is always looking for new ways to expand her business brand’s reach and thought the #SBS challenge was a perfect opportunity.

As well as receiving recognition, the business will also be profiled on the #SBS website that is exclusive to all Small Business Sunday winners.

“I thought it was a good opportunity to get the Vie’s Jamaican Rum Cake brand out there,” she said.

“It’s quite difficult to get followers on Twitter so I thought it would be a good way to gain followers.”

This has proved even more important as coronavirus has had a huge impact on the business, which supplies many cafes and hospitality establishments in the area.

“I sold my first cake two weeks before the lockdown,” said Ms Rémy.

“It’s been a difficult year and even the stockists I have aren’t taking any cakes because they’re working to minimum order because there’s nobody to buy them.

“I’m struggling as I can’t sell to trade so all of my strategy has moved to online.”