A former local government worker who left the rat race to devote her days to baking beautiful brownies has pioneered a unique recipe which is taking sweet-toothed shoppers by surprise after adding a secret ingredient to her culinary creations… beer!
Heather Moore, who lives in Middlewood, set up her booming brownie business We Luv Brownies in October 2014. After spending time perfecting and refining her culinary creations, Heather recognised that she needed to grow her business and turned to Launchpad; a unique business scheme delivered across the Sheffield City Region designed to help new entrepreneurs transform ideas into a commercial reality.
A visit to her local brewery, Bradfield Brewery, inspired Heather to add beer to her recipe and to her surprise she discovered the end result was a richer tasting brownie which intensified the chocolate flavours.
Her unique creation proved to be an instant hit at local farmers markets, but like many other new entrepreneurs she recognised that if the business was going to succeed she needed to develop a regular customer base, allowing her to transform her hobby into a full-time commercial venture. Through the Launchpad programme Heather received advice from an experienced business advisor who worked with her to develop new markets for her products.
Today Heather produces over 300 brownies each week which can be found in coffee shops throughout Yorkshire and are also proving to be a surprise hit in some of the city’s pubs. Heather’s Stout and Belgian Blue beer based brownies are just one of the eight varieties she makes, as well as best sellers Blondie, Salted Caramel and a selection of gluten free flavours. She is now planning to expand her business further by selling online as well as relocating the business from her own kitchen to commercial premises.
Heather Moore, We Luv Brownies, said:
“I’ve always enjoyed baking and my recipes were well received by friends, family and work colleagues, but selling to a complete stranger for the first time was something which both excited and terrified me in equal measures.
“Leaving a secure career and taking a step into the unknown was a leap of faith but I decided to give it a try. Running your own business can be daunting for anyone, but Launchpad helped me to understand the nuts and bolts of what it takes to run and grow your own business as well as giving me the confidence in face to face interaction with customers and in my business idea as a whole.
“One of the greatest challenges I faced was finding customers but through the support I’ve received from Launchpad, I’ve managed to successfully develop a network of over 20 local cafés, retail outlets and even pubs which regularly place orders for my brownies.
“The Launchpad scheme played a huge role in helping me to develop my business and they are now helping me to scale the company further. To do this I’m looking at recruiting my first members of staff as well as possibly leasing premises which will help me to increase the numbers of brownies I produce.”
Joan Binns, Business Advisor, SCR Launchpad said:
“Our work with Heather helped to give her the confidence in her vision. The scheme is aimed at helping people who have never run a business before and by spending time attending the free workshops and accessing the one-to-one support available through the programme, Heather has gained invaluable business lessons, but perhaps more importantly the knowledge and confidence to believe in her idea.
“Some of the best business ideas are driven by a passion for a hobby and the success Heather has enjoyed is a perfect example of how, when benefitting from the right support and advice, a business idea can be transformed into a commercial reality.”
Launchpad is a unique scheme which forms part of the Sheffield City Region Growth hub. Funded by the European Union Regional Development Fund and delivered by Local Authorities within Sheffield City Region and the Princes Trust, the programme provides free help and support to budding entrepreneurs in the Sheffield City Region who are thinking of starting their own business, or have started trading within the last two years.
For more information on the Launchpad programme and how it operates throughout the Sheffield City Region, contact the SCR Growth Hub Gateway on 03330 00 00 39 or visit www.scrlaunchpad.co.uk