Entrepreneurial duo become millionaires - seven years after plotting new business over cup of coffee

Claire Woodman and Kelly-Anne Byres of Poppy Nursing and Care Services Picture: POPPY NURSING AND CARE SERVICES

Claire Woodman and Kelly-Anne Byres of Poppy Nursing and Care Services Picture: POPPY NURSING AND CARE SERVICES - Credit: Archant

Two women who hatched a business plan over a Costa coffee seven years ago have become millionaires after selling the company they created.

Ash Higgs, director of MCG Healthcare, which has acquired Poppy Nursing and Care Services Picture: MCG HEALTHCARE

Ash Higgs, director of MCG Healthcare, which has acquired Poppy Nursing and Care Services Picture: MCG HEALTHCARE - Credit: Archant

Accountant Kelly-Anne Byres and nurse Claire Woodman launched Ipswich nursing agency Poppy Nursing and Care Services in 2014 after spotting a gap in the market for hospital and care home staff.

Now they’ve sold the business to Hertfordshire-based MCG Group in a multi-million pound deal. The name for the company came from a fortune cookie which read: “Your lucky flower is poppy”.

MORE — Manager’s tears of happiness at hotel accoladeManaging director Ms Woodman said she was “immensely proud” of everything the company had achieved and was excited for the future of the business, which has been a finalist in a number of British care awards for innovation and service delivery.

“While it’s a difficult decision to sell a business that you’ve worked so hard to build, it was evident from the outset that our two businesses had a clear synergy,” she said.

“I look forward to the transition of our business and ensuring the continuation of great service to our clients.”

Ms Byres — who has scooped a number of business awards including Young Businessperson of the Year category at the EADT Business awards — said The MCG Group was a “great fit” for the business.

“Their focus on people really stood out to us, as did their commitment to excellence, assuring us that the quality line we’ve worked so hard to build will continue into the new ownership,” she said.

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The acquisition of the business is The MCG Group’s fourth in the last two years and is aimed at expanding the group’s healthcare recruitment brand MCG Healthcare.

Colm McGinley, chief executive of MCG Group, said they were “delighted” to welcome Poppy Nursing and Care Services to the MCG team.

“This is our first healthcare acquisition and will further strengthen our group, building on the start we have already made in the healthcare market,” he said.

“While we continue to grow organically, this further supports our five-year growth plans and our vision to be recognised as a group of companies people love to work for and with.”

MCG provides services across a range of sectors, including aerospace and aviation, construction, education, healthcare and technology.

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