ONE of the co-founders of BEAR in Northwich has been nominated for a prestigious award for his part in establishing the business.

Craig Bunting has been recognised as one of the best in the business after being named a finalist in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

He founded the award-winning independent brand in 2014 alongside Michael Thorley and after opening branches across the midlands, branched out to Northwich in 2020.

The coffee shop and eatery battled through the pandemic and established itself as one of the most popular establishments in town.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards is held in partnership with Starling Bank and champions and celebrates the hard work of business owners throughout the UK.

There were over 5,300 entries and Craig has been shortlisted in the Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year for the Midlands.

Speaking about the news, Craig said: “I am humbled by this.

“I’ve poured many years into a vision of BEAR that sometimes even overwhelms me.

“To be recognised by this shortlisting further confirms what I am so passionate about.

“Growing business, building people and having fun.

“However, this is certainly not a journey I have travelled alone.

“My inspiration from my fellow co-founder Michael, founding investor Chris and the whole team at BEAR play a huge part in enabling me to be the entrepreneur that I am today.”

Twelve awards will be given out per region for categories including Disruptor of the Year, Entrepreneur for Good Award, and the Great British Entrepreneur of the Year. Notable winners from previous years include Social Chain founder Steven Bartlett, who went on to become the youngest ever investor on BBC’s Dragon’s Den.

The winners will be announced at a Grand Final, held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on 21st November.

Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said: “The quality of entries is consistently excellent year on year, but we have been especially blown away by the innovation, drive and determination demonstrated in the applications this year.

“From the pandemic to the ongoing cost of living crisis, business owners haven’t had it easy over the past few years, but it’s a testament to the tenacity and perseverance of these entrepreneurs that they have continued on their path and refused to give in.”