When two Brighton mums couldn’t find a healthy, cooling treat for their young children on a hot day, they were inspired to go into business making their own.
Facilities manager Sarah Smith and dance teacher Zoe Meredith, only met in 2005 at a children’s Spanish class. By the following year, they were running a business together producing their own 100 per cent fruit lollies for kids.
For all the mothers who have ever made their children orange squash lollies in the kitchen freezer during the summer, it would be reasonable to think that this fledging business would be a doddle.
Not so as Sarah explains: “The first few batches were a disaster. We just couldn’t get the lollies to freeze to a desirable consistency.”
Before long and with several weeks of experimentation, the mums had developed their first four flavours with each meeting the specifications that they must be 100 per cent real fruit and ‘delicious’.
As both parents were coming to the end of maternity leave, they found themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to make difficult decisions.
“We had both worked hard in our careers and enjoyed the financial independence that work brings but we wanted flexible working hours so that we could spend more time with our families,” Sarah continues.
Eventually, both mums decided to sacrifice their careers, deciding to ‘Lick your way to five a day! ‘instead.
The popularity of Yummy Lollies quickly grew from outside their circle of friends as the mumpreneurs persuaded a staggering 150 retail outlets to stock the product by the end of their first year of trading.
Three years later, more than 300 retailers across the UK stock the lollies and the pair have even added another product to the range.
“I think the secret behind the success of Yummy Lollies and Real Fruit Frenzy is down to them being tasty and healthy.
“They help mums ensure their little ones are getting part of their five a day and are naturally sweet so that even the fussiest of eaters enjoys them,” Zoe says.
The real fruit lollies are contained in squeeze-up tubes avoiding the irritating – catch with the tongue before it drops of stick manoeuvre – or parents ending up with a toddler covered in a sticky mess.
Made with nothing but 100 per cent real fruit, each lolly contains less than 60 calories.
Despite their success, Sarah is quick to point out to other would-be mumpreneurs that it hasn’t always been an easy journey, but the benefits of having a happy mother working on something they enjoy in turn has a positive effect on their own children.
She concludes: “I would advise anyone thinking of starting out in business to research and experiment first as much as you can. You also need to feel extremely passionate about what you do as it can get very tough and at times you may feel like giving up. But for us it’s been worth it and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Yummy Lollies are sold in selected Waitrose stores and new product Real Fruit FRENZY can be purchased from Holland and Barrett.
Flavours include British Apple & Raspberry, Blackcurrant, Orange, Strawberry and Banana and Apple & Mango