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Ashbocking: James White Drinks makes national final of FSB WorldPay UK Business Awards

PUBLISHED: 14:23 21 April 2014 | UPDATED: 14:23 21 April 2014

Lawrence Mallinson of James White Drinks .

Lawrence Mallinson of James White Drinks .

A Suffolk-based juice maker whose drinks helped propel British athletes to Olympic success has been named among the country’s best small businesses.

James White Drinks Ltd scooped the East Anglia regional title in the FSB WorldPay UK Business Awards, winning £500, and will now go forward to the national final.

The company, from Ashbocking, near Ipswich, is owned by entrepreneur Lawrence Mallinson who has developed the “Beet It shot” in response to research revealing the health properties of beetroot juice.

It has proved a hit with many elite sports players, including Olympic and Paralympic athletes, Premier League football clubs and international rugby teams.

Scientists have discovered that beetroot juice, which is naturally high in dietary nitrate, can help lower blood-pressure and, because it increases the flow of blood and therefore oxygen to the extremities of the body, it has also been seized upon by athletes seeking improvements in performance levels.

Following an enquiry from the England rugby team about using beetroot juice, the James White Drinks developed the Beet It shot, a small concentrated beetroot juice which delivers a consistent dose of 0.4g nitrate, which has proved to be the perfect dose.

Mr Mallinson said: “We were in the right place at the right time when this discovery was made. There is so much research now going into the health-giving qualities of beetroot juice – it is remarkable that a small East Anglian company is supplying more than 100 university research teams, all over the world.”

Colin Willman, chairman of FSB (Member Services) Ltd, said: “The FSB WorldPay UK Business Awards are designed to raise the profile of small businesses across the UK and to highlight the crucial role they play in supporting the economy. We’ve had a record number of entries this year, so it’s a great achievement for James White Drinks Ltd to be selected as the overall winner for their area.”

Ron Kalifa, deputy chairman of WorldPay, added: “For too long, too many small businesses have struggled through recession, hit hard by a consumer spending dip and financial pressures. But our small businesses are home to some of the best minds in the country.

“James White Drinks Ltd is a company at the forefront of its field, having made an exciting scientific discovery and then capitalising on it. Thanks to their fighting spirit, they’re driving our economic recovery – and the future looks promising. We wish them luck and look forward to seeing them at the awards final.”

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