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What's happening in the Suffolk business community

From Home Start-up to Fudge Factory

Lily and Adrian Turner started their Yum Yum Tree Fudge business from home in 2009. Based near Bury St Edmunds the couple presently produce 10 tonnes of fudge per year and use locally grown beet sugar plus British butter and milk as their base ingredients.

They are about to start the build of a purpose-built, 4,500 square feet facility at Woolpit Business Park in Suffolk, which will be completed in early 2020. This will increase their production capacity to 100 tonnes of fudge per annum.

The business, which has a strong presence at country shows and events across the eastern region supplies 52, East of England Coop stores with their products. A further 74 Coop outlets are potentially in the pipeline once the building works of the new fudge factory are completed.

Adrian from Yum Yum Tree Fudge comments, “Our aim is to make the UK’s best quality fudge.  We are disrupting the market by innovating a new kind of fudge that has less sugar and more flavour.  Also, there has never been a brand in fudge as there is with chocolate. We want to be that first brand not just in the UK but worldwide.”

Lily and Adrian have regularly used the business advice and training services of Suffolk and Norfolk’s enterprise agency, MENTA. The organisation provides a range of support for established businesses and start-ups.

People who are considering starting a business or have done so in the last 12 months’ attend MENTA’s free start-up ‘Start Right’ business training workshops. These are held regularly at locations across the two counties, including Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Norwich and North Walsham. The set of three, four-hour sessions cover all areas of business including legal structures, marketing and book keeping. They are funded by the European Regional Development Fund and are unaffected by Brexit.

Adrian says, “We found the start-up advice we received from MENTA extremely useful. It isn’t easy to start a business and to speak with a knowledgeable adviser who had run their own enterprise helped enormously.”

“We can still call on MENTA for a range of business support, from mentoring and tailormade social media training, to personality profiling and e-learning options is fantastic. The annual MENTA Business Show which takes place on the 1st October in Bury St Edmunds, is a great way to meet exhibitors showcasing their goods and services. There are always interesting free talks and seminars and I am particularly interested in hearing Ben Southgate of HIGHBEAM. He will show how businesses can use insight, creativity and technology to cut through to consumers and grow their sales. An important subject for many, including us.”

Alex Till, CEO of MENTA says, “My congratulations to Lily and Adrian, I wish them every success with their expansion plans as they endeavour to become a worldwide brand. It shows that with determination, vision and a unique product what a local business can achieve.”

For full details of MENTA’s free start-up Start Right training workshops and for information regarding the MENTA Business Show and business advice, visit www.menta.org.uk or call 01284 760206.

Sue Wilcock