Andrew Thomas, originally from Pembrokeshire, has lived in Sheffield for eight years. As managing director and founder of BetterYou Ltd, Andrew spends the majority of his time at his Chapeltown base promoting the importance of vitamin D and magnesium to the masses. A true entrepreneur, Andrew says he saw a need in the UK for a more innovative and convenient approach to health supplements based upon rapidly changing lifestyles and has worked hard to bring BetterYou’s products to life, both in the UK and worldwide. He enjoys spending quality spare time with his daughter, Amber, and one-year-old standard schnauzer, Otto.
Local days out
As a single dad and an owner of a very energetic dog, I love the fact that within half an hour I am able to walk in the woods or climb in the Peaks.
My favourite recent walk was around The Roaches and Hen Cloud. The scenery is breathtaking and it’s great for kids and dogs, apart from the odd road. I like to cook using local ingredients so farm shops such as Hazelhead and Moss Farm are excellent sources of inspiration.
There are some amazing butchers and grocers in and around Sheffield, I just wish more people would take the effort to source their ingredients locally. With food that has real flavour, often less is more and when money’s tight and quality matters, you just can’t beat it.
SOVA (Supporting Others Through Voluntary Action), based on Moore Street, is part of a national network designed to mentor young people who are experiencing anti-social behaviour and are at risk of being excluded from school.
I volunteered with them for more than a year and really enjoyed the challenge and just being able to get involved. I had a great young lad who I became very proud of.
It’s a very demanding role though, mentally and especially emotionally and I am in awe of Rosie and her team and the unbelievable kids they work with.
Fuse and Fusion
Stuart, who owns Fuse and Fusion, is one of my oldest and dearest friends. His two shops around the Forum first started life after we went travelling around America after university. I came back to do the corporate thing and he didn’t! He just seemed to understand what he wanted to do but it took me a little longer!
I love both stores for their eclectic mix of products, chilled atmosphere, uniqueness and friendly staff. If I’m ever stumped for a gift idea that’s where I go. Stu’s a bit of a hero of mine and I ask his advice for various business issues. He’s pretty good at cutting through the fluff and getting to the heart of a problem!
The recent Grin Up North festival in Sheffield reminded me just what a fantastic atmosphere and outlook on life we have in Sheffield.
I think it’s the same with every community that’s had a rough time in their past, the tragic comedy that permeates this city is almost palpable. I think it inspires a lot of what’s great about it. You just have to listen to a late-night conversation in a pub to hear absolute comic genius!
I don’t want to say it’s just a northern thing but I don’t think I’ve laughed as much in my life as I have being in Sheffield.
Nuba Hair & Beauty
This salon based on Glossop Road, is run by a good friend of mine, Serena, who is a fantastic stylist and has just won the Northern Stylist of the Year, yet again!
The staff really know hair and Nuba is one of the few salons specialising in all hair types. I’m sure I’m like most guys who never know what to do with what little we’ve got!
The team just immediately put you at your ease with good advice and professionalism and they really know their stuff. They also have a number of celebrity clients including Jessica Ennis.
I’ve never heard people thank hairdressers and seen presents given quite as much as I have in Nuba! There’s also a nail bar and beauty rooms, so my daughter loves it there.
This little shop on Ecclesall Road is an Aladdin’s Cave if you have even the slightest interest in these wonderful instruments.
They fixed my guitar and very politely told me everything I was doing wrong... it took a while and they made me a cup of tea. These guys are experts but they’re also very friendly and never look down their noses at us enthusiastic halfwits!
I could spend hours in there and you just feel how passionate they are about what they do. I guess it’s the same theme that runs through all my favourite places really. People who care greatly about what they do and do it to the very best standard. I truly respect that.
I know it seems obvious to have my business as one of My Favourite Things, but I am so proud of what we’ve achieved. BetterYou were the first to develop a topical spray delivering magnesium for hospitals whose patients cannot take tablets and would otherwise have to rely on drips.
Most recently we have introduced the market’s first daily vitamin D oral spray, ideal for those who are fed up popping pills.
I started the business as I just felt that health supplements were becoming either elitist or boring and I really wanted to add a little innovation and excitement to the market.
I’ve found that sportsmen and women really understand their bodies and the importance of what we do and have given us a great deal of advice and feedback.
I was over the moon when, as a Welshman, the Welsh Rugby Union team chose our magnesium spray as their muscle recovery regime for the recent World Cup.