COVID-19 put the brakes on Harry Lynch and Tayla Harris’ plans to travel the world, and just over one year on, their Sugar Rush Sweeties is the leading online and over the counter sweets seller in Yorkshire.
The pair had set up the business in October 2019 to help fund their travels and supplement their earnings in banking and teaching.
Tayla: “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 of sweetie 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.”
Using only the profits from the business to expand, deliveries are offered within a 6 miles radius of Garforth, alongside a next-day postal service.
Harry: “As soon as COVID-19 hit the UK, suddenly the demand for both our online and home delivery service went through the roof and we very quickly realised that Sugar Rush Sweeties had become a sustainable business. We started making plans to continue to grow the online side of the business but also open a store where people could buy sweets from.”
The couple gave up their careers to focus on Sugar Rush and found a unit for their base in Garforth. In mid-July 2020, they opened their sweet shop, offering a vast range of sweets to suit all tastes, and have added a variety of desserts, milk shakes and brownies to their list. Suddenly, they are one of the largest shops of its kind in the UK.
Harry: “As soon as we opened the doors of Sugar Rush Sweeties, we had people queuing down the street to buy them, and ever since the demand has just been phenomenal! We have had to work around the clock to keep up with both online and shop sales, and we now employ a total of 5 staff.”
Tayla: “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.”
The impact of the 2021 lockdown has been dramatic, too, with online sales now increased to 90% of the business. Customers can still collect their orders from the shop doorway counter.
What about their plans to travel? Understandably, travel is on hold, with plans to add new ranges and hopefully open another unit in Wakefield.
Harry: “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.”
Let’s hope this enterprising couple has the world open to them before too long.
Photographs provided by Pink Gorilla.