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Kate Cowie Winner of Women In Philanthropy Award

women of philanthropy award winner kate cowie with elaine owen and ellen kerr of women in business

After a 10 year career in Hospitality Management Kate moved to Liverpool in 1998 with two friends to set up Coffee Union on Bold Street – Liverpool’s first independent coffee shop. Another branch soon followed and their small business flourished.  It wasn’t long before the trio spotted a further opportunity to set up a store showcasing the best of contemporary design-led products. They opened their first Utility store in November 1999, and the tiny boutique became an overnight success story.

Over the past 13 years Utility has expanded into larger stores in Liverpool and in 2011 their first London store opened in Kings Cross. The company has been lucky enough to win several awards including The Telegraph Best Small Shop in Britain for Interiors Award in 2011. Other recent accolades include Mersey Tourism’s Retailer of the Year in 2011 and the Giftware Association’s UK Gift Retailer of the Year Award in 2012.  In the last two years Kate has been involved with various committees and between them have raised over £50,000 for charity.

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