Bookshelf Burns named Heywood and Middleton's Best Small Business this year by MP

Date published: 28 December 2023

Bookshelf Burns has been awarded the title of Best Small Business in the Heywood & Middleton constituency by the MP, Chris Clarkson.

To mark Small Business Saturday on the first Saturday in December, Mr Clarkson encouraged local residents to nominate their favourite small, independent business in the Heywood & Middleton constituency.

There was a fantastic turnout from the community, with over 27 small businesses nominated for this year’s awards.

Although each business nominated had wonderful comments, Bookshelf Burns – owned by Joe Brennan – was a standout.

Joe, who lives in Castleton, built his business from the ground up, creating innovative candles and wax melts, inspired by literature such as Edgar Allan Poe, C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Harry Potter.

Joe started the business around three years ago during lockdown, after trying to enhance the reading atmosphere when reading 'The Hobbit'.

He said: "It started as an idea for needing a creative outlet I had whilst reading and trying to think of a product that could enhance the reading atmosphere and I thought a candle might be a good idea. After doing a tonne of research and ordering some materials I started making and testing until I felt I had a product that people were maybe interested in buying."

Of the award, he said: "Still feel like a massive imposter winning the award as there are so many other fantastic and well-established businesses than mine who are doing great work! There are so many other business owners I look up to and I can only hope that I try to do a good a job as they are. The award wouldn’t mean anything without the support and love of my friends, family, social media followers and customers who have been so loyal and kind over the years.

"I can only thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for putting my little business up for the award and I’m so grateful and humbled to even have been nominated amongst so many other brilliant businesses. Small businesses are the heart and soul of the community and are what community is built on.

"It’s so important for people to shop small now more than ever as we’re losing so many vital skill sets because of mass production etc."

Joe was presented with the award by Mr Clarkson at the Alkrington Village Craft Market on Sunday 17 December.

Mr Clarkson said: “It was fantastic to meet Joe from Bookshelf Burns to recognise his hard work, dedication and sheer creativity. He’s built a great business – and is completely deserving of this year’s Heywood & Middleton’s Small Business Award.”

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