A COVENTRY mum has reignited her passion for cooking by kickstarting a career in the kitchen that began at college ten years ago.
Ellen Booton went to catering college in Rugby as a 16-year-old, but ended up working first as a wedding planner and then in HR.
Fast forward to 2021 and now married to Robert with a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Isabelle, 26-year-old Ellen has set up The Fabulous Fudge Company from the kitchen at her family’s home in Wyken, with support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, and just in time for the city’s year as UK City of Culture.
Having drafted in family and friends to give her feedback on early recipes, she is already offering 25 flavours for customers to choose from to make up their own bespoke gift selection boxes, with lemon meringue made with fresh lemon curd and white chocolate and raspberry among her best sellers.
“It was towards the back end of last year that I started to think about how I could start a business that could offer a regular income but would be something I can grow organically,” she said.
“I went to catering college and have always had a passion for cooking but I never pursued it as a career. I did my research and there are so many other company’s making baked goods and doing it well but I found a gap in the market in making fudge so I ran with it and have put my own twist on it.”
Ellen has been given a helping hand by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce through its free Start Up Business Support Programme, and has attended three workshops and benefitted from four one-to-one sessions with a mentor.
The service is part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support Programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
She said: “The Chamber actually reached out to me when they saw a blog about me launching the business.
“It’s been a great opportunity to network at the workshops and to get some valuable one-to-one advice and guidance from my mentor who really fanned the flames of the fire inside me and steered me in the direction I needed to go in to make this a success. And, after only a month, the orders have been flying in.
“The support I’ve been given has been wide ranging and the fact that it’s free to help people like me get an idea off the ground is really, really great.”
Hardeep Sandhu, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Ellen has really taken on board all of the advice on offer and that has already led to a successful start to the business.
“The fact that Coventry is UK City of Culture in 2021 represents a big opportunity for ventures in the creative, cultural, leisure and hospitality sector and we believe the year can leave a legacy of more new businesses being created in these areas.
“This is going to be a great time for people to come together to share ideas, enjoy themselves and try new things – from culture to food – and that means this is a real opportunity for businesses such as The Fabulous Food Company.”
The Chamber has a range of start-up workshops to support people to build sustainable businesses. For more information or to book on go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/coventry-and-warwickshire-chamber-of-commerce-start-up-support-11874476531