deliPOPS. A case study
5 minutes with Joe Waters of deliPOPS
In May 2013, Joe and Victoria Waters started trading as deliPOPS, in that short period of time they have gone from a house full of freezers to renting a unit in the Old Railway Yard at St Agnes, near Truro.
Why ice lollies?
I’d always wanted to start my own business and had been on the lookout for an idea for a while. After not having had an ice lolly for about 10 years, a family holiday to Italy and a visit to an ice cream parlour in Verona sparked an interest. I have a background in science and really enjoyed that side of the research into a new product.
There is a big tradition of ice lollies around the world, we did a lot of research and decided to throw our chips in and give it a go as it seemed like a product that would fly, friends and family liked the idea and deliPOPS was born.
What is special about deliPOPS?
We can quickly fit into the retail ‘gap’ that other ice lollies don’t fill. We are all about natural ingredients, we’re not garish. Simplicity is key with no artificial ingredients and everything being as fresh as possible. We only use whole fresh fruit, no concentrate and only un-refined natural cane sugar. Even our packaging is simple and allows consumers to clearly see the product.
When did you realise you’d got it right?
We attended events with our product, farmers’ markets and food festivals. We found that people would approach us saying that they had a café or shop and asking if they could they sell our ice lollies. That was exciting as we’d not really considered wholesale at that point but as there was interest we decided to go for it even though we were still in our first year of trading.
You’ve recently expanded, how did that go?
Moving from the house to the unit at St Agnes was essential; we had met production capacity and needed more storage. At home, working 20 hours a day we could make 1,000 lollies a week, in the new unit working 9-5 we can produce 7,000 with the chance to increase this to 10,000 by working evenings.
What has Oxford Innovation done to support you?
In August 2013 we started to work with Oxford Innovation (OI), Victoria came back from the meeting full of enthusiasm and that first meeting lead us to working with OI on the Ignite Competition.
They took a real interest, gave us validation and encouraged us to think bigger than we perhaps would have done at such an early stage. They gave us practical help to write a business plan and even to set up this unit, expert coaching, marketing and financial advice including helping us to apply for a Business Investment for Growth grant that allowed us to buy a specialist freezer.
‘Joe and Victoria have created a fabulous product in deliPOPS. They have accomplished so much in the last 12 months, and this is absolutely testament to their hard work, commitment, drive and ambition in taking the business to the next level.’ Sarah Wilkinson, Business Coach, Oxford Innovation.
We’d like to find a distributor for 2015, increase our stockists, develop a couple of new flavours and attend more events and music festivals. We are also looking for a permanent pitch in London, there’s a massive market there that we’d like to take advantage of! Perhaps even an ice lolly parlour somewhere…
Oxford Innovation delivers the Coaching for High Growth programme offering intensive coaching support for new and existing entrepreneurs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. More information can be found here:
More information about deliPOPS can be found on their website: http://www.deli-pops.co.uk/
Or follow them on Twitter: @DeliPopsUK
Monday 13 October 2014