THE owner of a firm celebrating its 20th anniversary said it was the "icing on the cake" to be named best hair salon in Ashbourne by readers of the newspaper.
Kay Platt took over her premises in the Market Place in 1994 but said it would not have thrived without the loyalty of her customers and staff.
Today, seven people work for Kay & Co – including Kay, 42 – and they have been at the business from between four to 17 years.
And it has now been selected as the top salon in the town in our According to You survey.
We asked our readers on social networking website Facebook which place they thought was the best in Ashbourne for getting their hair done.
They were invited to post their thoughts and, after receiving scores of responses from readers over a week, Kay & Co emerged as the favourite. It was closely followed by Hair By Kristian Wood, in St John Street, with third place awarded to Air, in Dig Street.
Kay, who also receives help with her business from husband Jim, 37, said: "We were so excited to be told we had been named the best. We screamed the house down.
"And to have it happen while we're celebrating our 20th anniversary is just wonderful.
"I saw a few of the comments on Facebook and people said some really brilliant things. I think they were also backing us because we're proper Ashbourne girls who work at the salon.
"But I must say a big thank- you to our customers, who are very loyal and who have kept us up and running, as well as our fabulous staff."
Among comments posted about the salon on Facebook was one by user Yvonne Mulgrew, which said: "I travel from Glasgow to get my hair cut and coloured there."
Carol Somerville said: "It's got to be Kay & Co hair-stylists – always a friendly welcome, super cuts, colours and party-dos."
And Laura Hambleton said: "Kay & Co is the best salon by far. The staff are great, they are friendly, caring and always give a warm welcome.
"The atmosphere is always relaxed and Kay always has time for you no matter what – she is a fantastic lady and very patient."
Kay said: "What I think people like about us is that we try to put a smile on their face whenever they come in, no matter how they are feeling.
"Not too long ago, we had a lady come in who had been in hospital with pneumonia and, afterwards, she said some time with us had been the best tonic for her. We also try and do a lot of charity work too, because that's also important to us."
Kay's team comprises of Natalie Jones, Marie Bacon, Sharon Parker, Sophie Crooks, Dani Mitchell and Kate Williams.
She said: "Natalie's the longest serving at 17 years but the newest to join us was about four years ago – we don't have a very high staff turnover.
"We've all got children and we're always helping each out, which is why I think we all get on so well."
The vote was carried out as part of the paper's According to You surveys, asking people about their favourite places and events in and around Ashbourne.