A CHESTER-BASED doughnut business – set up by two former Hollyoaks stars – has won a top vegan award.

The Doughnut Whisperer, which is a 100 per cent plant-based, handmade doughnut company, landed the prize for the Best Vegan Doughnuts at the ninth annual PETA Vegan Food Awards.

The business was born after married couple Claire Cooper and Emmett Scanlan, who both starred in the Channel 4 soap and live in the city, teamed up with local baker Stephanie Reid.

Emmett, who has also appeared in the hugely popular Peaky Blinders, posted a video message on The Doughnut Whisperer Instagram page, stating: "Thank you to PETA for this incredible honour, this incredible accolade.

"Since the beginning of lockdown we've worked tirelessly to bring you, the people, The Doughnut Whisperer. And I think that we have.

"To our customers who have come back over and over again, we thank you for your love and support. If it wasn't for you we wouldn't be here."

PETA director of vegan corporate projects, Dawn Carr, said: "Vegan picks are so popular they’re landing on the menus of the biggest chains and flying off the shelves of every supermarket.

"The Doughnut Whisperer is making it easier than ever for Chester locals and people nationwide to go vegan by offering satisfyingly sweet vegan doughnuts."

The Standard reported back in May this year that The Doughnut Whisperer was being launched to fulfil their simple mission statement of "making people happy".

Its vegan treats can be ordered via The Doughnut Whisperer website or found at local stockists. Flavours include Apple and Berry Crumble, Boston Cream, and Salted Caramel Pretzel.

Speaking earlier in the year, Claire said: "Stephanie used to deliver doughnuts once a month to our home in Chester, which we absolutely loved, but found we wanted more.

"Whenever she came, the doughnuts were always incredible, but we remember feeling frustrated as to why she couldn’t come more frequently? One day we asked Stephanie why doesn’t she open a stand or store nearby?

"She explained she’d love to but didn’t have the time to match the demand, so during a socially distanced meeting in our garden we agreed to work together to spread her ethos and products to more people, and The Doughnut Whisperer was born!”