- Launched by local couple, Tara and Paul Baird after redundancy, the shop has recorded a 15% rise in sales
- Evesham’s Strawberry Couch is offering bespoke Valentine’s hampers and giveaways to customers
A sweet and toy shop in Evesham has ambitious Valentine’s Day plans after seeing a 15% uplift in year-on-year sales.
Strawberry Couch was launched in May 2015 by husband and wife duo Tara and Paul Baird, after Tara was made redundant from her previous job at a local sweet shop. Keen to put her sweet skills to good use and start up on her own, she set up shop on Bridge Street, in central Evesham.
As well as a 15% year-on-year uplift, the pair have seen a 12% rise in month-on-month sales from December which was driven by a successful Christmas period.
The business launched with a £15,000 loan from government-backed Start Up Loans Company, which helped cover legal fees involved in purchasing the shop premises, fitting-out and stocking the shop – which the couple did themselves.
The family-run business offers traditional sweets, toys, handmade jewellery, candles and Fairtrade gifts. Handmade goods are also sourced from local suppliers and artists.
For Valentine’s Day, Strawberry Couch is offering bespoke hampers, with a selection of sweet snacks and gifts.
They’ll also be expanding their product range to include personalised photos and mugs, as well as giving free sweet giveaways to children and adults on the day itself.
The shop currently employs two part-time workers and is looking for a nearby location to launch a second store this year.
Tara Baird, Co-founder of Strawberry Couch, said:
“Whether you’re a couple or single – we think that we all deserve a little pampering come the 14th February. We’re spreading the love by offering customers sweet treats and romantic gifts – the perfect way to make your partner fall head over heels. We sold over 500 of our Christmas hampers and are hoping our sweet treats will bring sweet nothings to all our customers.
Starting up our own business has been an adventure, and the help we received from our mentor has been a great comfort to us from the outset. Running your own business is a learning experience, and it’s such a good feeling when it pays off.”
Tim Sawyer, CEO of The Start Up Loans Company, said:
“Tara and Paul have created a lovely family-run business which brings fantastic service and products to customers in Evesham. Their Valentine’s Day range shows how they go the extra mile to give customers personalised gifts which they wouldn’t find elsewhere.
Tara turned her redundancy into a positive and launched a successful start-up. This is what launching a business is all about, using your skills to contribute to your local community. Getting finance to launch can be problematic, which is why we provide support and first-stage funding, to make sure that everyone has the resource and advice they need to achieve their ambitions. I’m looking forward to watching Strawberry Couch grow and open their second local store – which will be warmly welcomed by all.”