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Southern Churn — $5,000 Winner Announced for the Downtown Bristol Entrepreneur's Prize Competition

February 03, 2015

Last year, Believe in Bristol introduced the Downtown Bristol Entrepreneur’s Prize and our first winner, Bristol Brewery, is scheduled to open this Spring. This year, the prize goes to Southern Churn, a new business started by long time downtown entrepreneur Karen Hester, who also owns Cranberry Lane. The Downtown Bristol Entrepreneur’s Prize, is designed to provide $5,000 in reimbursement grant funds for a qualifying new and expanding downtown business to help ensure their long-term success.

This prize money will help her offset costs as she gets the business running smoothly. She plans to add several new jobs to downtown as the business grows. The competition started in August and required contestants to submit a one-page document outlining how their business would reflect the character and personality of Historic Downtown Bristol, how it would fill a needed niche in our downtown community, and its potential for success. Finalists then submitted business plans for review and on Thursday, January 22nd presented to an 8-person panel of judges. Karen was humble and excited to receive the prize.

“We live in a great country where we have the freedom to be entrepreneurs,” she said. “It was a great process and I am honored to be the winner and I encourage people to participate in the contest and with Believe in Bristol.. There are more visitors than ever coming downtown and there is a lot of business to go around.” And Karen is continuously improving the Southern Churn, recently adding another mixer and constantly scouring the market for things that her customers will enjoy. “We’re always looking for new candies and trends, like Jelly Belly movie-themed items,” she said. “The fudge did great over the holidays, we sold around 5,000 pounds of over 30 different flavors.”

Believe in Bristol is committed to continuing this format of Entrepreneur Development, seeking new grants and partners to enable new startups in our downtown. “The participation in the Prize competition and the support from local businesses and partners proves our community can rally behind home grown economic development” stated Ben Collins, Chair of Believe in Bristol’s Economic Restructuring Committee.

Believe in Bristol would like to thank Allen Hurley and Wells Fargo, who helped to make this possible.