14 November 2013

How to startup a sweet business

How two students who began making luxury fudge for extra cash have turned their venture into a successful start-up business.

As today is National Start-up Day, we look how one of our customer’s business has grown from a part-time venture to a successful start-up company.

National Start-up Day is an event to celebrate the contribution new businesses make to the UK economy. Figures from StartUp Britain suggest more than 500,000 start-up businesses will have been created in the UK by the end of 2013. 

One start-up company which has had a promising 2013 so far is Toms Fudge, which sells handmade artisan fudge both online and at events. Based at our Roden House Business Centre in Nottingham, Toms Fudge is rapidly expanding with customers lapping up the 23 luxury fudge flavours which include sticky toffee pudding, lemon meringue, cherry Bakewell and salted caramel.

A way to earn while studying

The business was started by two students at Loughborough University, who wanted a way of earning money while they studied.

Economics student Tom Mundy had been taught to make fudge by his mum and thought it would be a good way to make some extra cash. He enlisted the help of his friend Tom Revill, who was studying architectural engineering, and the pair got to work while they were in their second year of university.

Tom Mundy says: “We wanted to make a bit of money. Our friends loved it and we started delivering it to other students. We would take it to parties and halls of residence, anywhere really.

“People would message us at all times of the day for our fudge and we realised we could make this into a proper business.”

Expanding their venture

When the pair left university, they decided to run the business full-time from a room in their house. But in August this year, they decided they had outgrown their small kitchen and needed a proper commercial premises, so Toms Fudge moved into a 1,100 square foot unit at Roden House.

Tom says: “We’re really pleased with our unit. There’s a relaxed atmosphere in the building, but it is well managed. The communal areas are always clean and we know our unit is secure.”

Now as well as fudge, they also sell homemade ice cream which is frozen using liquid nitrogen. And things have been going so well for the two founders, who are now both 23, that have been able to take on an apprentice to help them.

From 20th November 2013, the team will be manning a Fudge Hut in Nottingham city centre which will remain there until Christmas Eve. And Toms Fudge has created two special festive flavours for Christmas – gingerbread and Christmas pudding.

Do you need commercial premises?

Roden House Business Centre is a former Victorian lace factory and warehouse, now with 53 refurbished units for rent, including:

To find out more, contact Business Centre Manager Jamie Douglas by calling 0115 959 8808.