Leeds woman who created sweet shop empire Archers Sweets from hallway with £200 as teen now sells thousands of kg a week
An entrepreneurial Leeds woman who started her sweet shop empire aged just 17 from home now sells thousands of kilos of sweets a week.
Tasha Archer, 25, started selling sweets as a teenager in 2013 - after her efforts to make Easter baskets for family went viral online.
> Leeds United's pitch announcer praises his brave children who stepped up during heart emergencyAfter making a Facebook group under her business name Archers Sweets, Tasha has since amassed more than 50,000 eager followers across her social media platforms and the business has gone from strength to strength.
Tasha - who runs the business alongside her partner Brad, 26 - now owns three shops in Leeds and has employed four people.
She said her business has got 'bigger and bigger' despite the Covid pandemic and now sells thousands of kilos of sweets each week - plus hundreds of doughnut boxes to her loyal customers.
> 'Nothing beats that human touch': Leeds care home boss welcomes move to allow relatives to hold handsTasha told the Yorkshire Evening Post how she started her business from home, with customers 'queuing up the driveway' to get their hands on the sweets in the early days.
Now, customers are able to order online and in shop - when not under lockdown restrictions - and Tasha is excited for the future of her sweet shop empire.
Speaking to the YEP, Tasha said: "It all started from home.
"When we started selling pick n mix from home it went absolutely crazy to the point I had a little shop in my hallway at home.
"I would have people queuing down my driveway on a night time, it was absolutely crazy and it just got to the point it was time we found a shop which we did in 2018."
Tasha - whose favourite sweets are cola bottles - said she started the business using only a few hundred pounds which a family member had given her, in order to buy her first lot of stock.
She explained how she kept recycling profits back into her business to increase the size and amount of stock she could buy.
> Meet the inspirational Leeds student stepping up to become a key worker during the Covid pandemicTasha said: "I had a couple of hundred pounds saved which a family member had given me which would help buy stock and I would keep saving all the money back in to build this up to buy our stock all the time.
"I literally made a few baskets for family, people was asking how much and if they could buy them, I saw the opportunity and ran with it.
"There was no one doing the 1kg pick and mix boxes when I started doing them, that was just a random idea I had which really set us off."
Tasha now has 50,000 followers online on Facebook, plus a popular Instagram account.
She now owns three shops in Leeds - one in Bramley and two in Wortley - with six staff in total.
Tasha said Covid has had an impact on her business but she has innovated by moving to wider online avenues.
She said: "Covid has impacted our Bramley shop as were in a business complex and not sat on a main road.
"Everything around us is closed so we temporarily closed that shop and don’t operate click and collect from there, as it is just so quiet and there is no footfall at all during lockdown.
"However since the third lockdown happened, we have just joined Foodhub to do click and collect or delivery at our Wortley shop and it's just gone absolutely mental for orders.
"We also have just launched our website for UK delivery with DPD next day delivery service which has also taken off really well."
Tasha said she has loved every minute of her journey so far.
She said: "From it just being a little job on the side I did after working at my full time job, to then being able to leave that and this become my main job has been amazing.
"Also, giving my partner Brad the opportunity to leave his full time job so we can both work together and build our business together has been brilliant.
"We have the most amazing customers who have followed us from day one and still support us now and we couldn't be more grateful.
"If it wasn't for them we wouldn’t be where we are now and we plan to grow our business bigger and bigger.
"There are big plans yet to come."
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