Success is sweet for Garforth couple whose scheme to raise funds for travelling turned into a full-time business
When a young Leeds couple decided to sell sweets in addition to doing full time jobs to raise money to go travelling around the world, little did they know how it would turn out.
The coronavirus pandemic struck and the globe-trotting plans of Harry Lynch and Tayla Harris, both 22 and who work in banking and teaching, was cancelled and their money-making scheme ended up becoming the biggest counter and online seller of sweets in Yorkshire.
The Garforth couple started Sugar Rush Sweeties in October 2019 and it grew to offer local deliveries within a six miles radius and next-day postal service. When lockdown was announced and people had to stay home, including the couple whose travel plans were grounded, their orders increased by 90 per cent.
Miss Harris said: " I'd seen a company on Instagram based down south delivering pizza boxes of sweets and thought it was a great idea and that no one was doing anything like that up north. Harry and I went to Costco and bought £100 of sweets, set up an Instagram account and launched Sugar Rush Sweeties.
"The demand was almost instant, and within weeks we were delivering over 50 boxes a week on evenings and weekends. We never dreamed it would be this successful, it was just a way of making extra money to help go towards our travels."
As lockdown eased the couple gave up their full-time careers to concentrate on the sweet business and in July they opened their first sweet shop at a unit in Garforth offering over 50 sweets styles ranging from traditional boiled British sweets, retro classics to American candy ranges. Shop customers can also enjoy desserts, brownies, cookie dough and milkshakes.
Today, with over 100 different sweets to choose from they are one of the largest' Pick n Mix' stores in the UK, employ five people and have 25,000 Instagram followers. With travel plans still on hold, the couple plan to expand the sweet business further.
Miss Harris added: "Buying sweets in lockdown for some people has become like a fashion statement or fashion accessory. The minute they get their delivery customers are posting fun images of them with the sweets like they would with a new outfit or pair of shoes, tagging and sharing our page with friends and family which in turn raises our profile and generates new business. I have no doubt that it's the power of social media that has turned our hobby to make some extra cash into a full-time business."
Going forward they hope to expand the business, introduce new ranges of desserts and specialist sweets such as gluten-free ranges and potentially open a second unit in Wakefield
Mr Lynch said: "The ultimate goal is to have a nationwide chain of sweet shops as well as an online presence. Our dream would be to have a system in place whereby we oversee 'Sugar Rush Sweeties' and run the business remotely while we travel the world."
Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe