A funeral services company which launched during the coronavirus pandemic has marked the end of its first year in business with significant investment in a new Jaguar fleet of hearses.
John Delanoy and Julie Stout have also achieved their pledge to reinvest all money made during the first 12 months of running Delanoy Funeral Services back into the community.
The two East Durham entrepreneurs launched their business in August 2020 after being introduced by a mutual friend.
Although from very different backgrounds, John being the fifth generation of Delanoys to work for his family funeral business and Julie running her own successful company, Just Out Marketing, they felt there was potential to go into partnership together.
After several meetings to discuss their ideas, the pair decided that together they could revolutionise the way funerals were conducted, making a real difference to the experience families have as they prepare to lay their loved ones to rest – including the production of beautifully filmed and edited videos of the funeral, giving families a permanent and treasured keep-sake.
Julie said: “It’s hard to believe how quickly – and how well – the first year of running Delanoy Funeral Services has gone.
“At the start, we were determined that during our first year, any money we made would be re-invested back into the business, as we really wanted our business to be at the heart of the East Durham community.
“I’m so pleased to say we’ve achieved that. We’ve moved into a new head office in Peterlee, we’ve been able to invest in state-of-the-art editing equipment to enable us to produce even more emotive, high quality videos for those families that want them, and purchase a fleet including Jaguar hearses and limousines.
“We’re now looking ahead to the next 12 months and beyond and continuing to conduct individually tailored funerals for families across the area, giving their loved ones the send off they want and deserve.”
A lot of John and Julie’s ideas for the business came about during the peak of the pandemic, when so many people were unable to attend family members’ funerals. It also co-incided with a time when John was reviewing his own family business, which was launched in 1897, and was keen to freshen things up.
John, who has worked in the funeral business since the age of 16, said: “My family’s business was fully established in the area, however I felt it needed a fresh injection and new ideas, especially given the challenges that Covid-19 was presenting. The introduction to Julie came at the perfect time.
“With her fresh eyes and the re-brand to Delanoy Funeral Services, we looked at new ways for people to say goodbye whilst still using many old traditions which were at the heart of the business.
“We’re 14 months down the line now and it’s been a whirlwind year, not least because of the coronavirus pandemic which until very recently was still restricting the way we all lived and worked.
“But now we’re looking forward to continuing with our growth, supported by the investment Julie and I have made in the new hearse which means we can support even more families as they prepare to say their final farewell to loved ones.”