A few weeks ago I was assisting LittleGems Jewellery at a craft event that was being held at The National Museum for Rural Life in East Kilbride. Whilst there I got chatting to one of the other stall holders, Kathleen Crymble, who runs a local confectionery manufacturing company called Crymbles Confectionery. I had mentioned to Kathleen that I planned on running little articles on local food businesses although I wasn't completely sure what the format would look like but that didn't stop Crymbles Confectionery being a willing guinea pig. Any feedback on this format would be greatly appreciated.
Crymbles Confectionery, based in East Kilbride, offer a wide range of quality chocolates, truffles and tablet which can be bought through the website or through a few select suppliers. If you're looking for something a little different for a corporate event or wedding, check out the website for more information. Myself and Kathleen somehow ended up talking about how social media sites can help raise brand awareness as well as share information on upcoming events or new products lines, helping to engage with both existing and new customers alike. Kathleen was already using Facebook but was unsure of how Twitter could fit in with the rest of the things she was doing. As my own background is advertising & marketing, I was able to give some pointers on how to make good use of Twitter and how to incorporate it alongside the other routes to market. Following our chat, Kathleen set up her Twitter account later that night and I was rewarded with some delicious dark chocolate gingers ,and the best lime fondant chocolates that I have ever tasted!
1 - How did you get started?
I did childminding when my son was born and rediscovered a love of baking when the children got a little older. We spent the rainy afternoons making things like fairy cakes and gingerbread men. This then brought back memories of my mums baking and how, around Halloween, she'd make tablet, macaroon, toffee apples, millionaires shortbread...... So I began experimenting with sweet and chocolate recipes and by the time my son had started school I was pretty much ready to set up my new business.
2 - What's the best piece of business advice you could give?
I remember being on a business start up course and the adviser telling us all "Don't let your dream become your nightmare." I think that's a sound piece of business/life advice - well worth sharing.
3 - Where would you like to see your business in 5 years?
In five years time I'd like to be supplying more independent retailers and delis - I also plan to expand my more "boutique" range - but that's for about 18 months from now, and five years from now I'd like that to have been developed into a separate entity.
4 - If you could only have one of your products, what would it be and why?
It's a hard choice, but I suppose it's the old favourite - vanilla tablet. I tried many, many tablet recipes until I managed to find and adapt the one I use now. I was trying to recreate the Strathaven Toffee I remember from childhood. My version is not the same, but it's just got that nice crunch and melt in the mouth........I can feel a batch coming on now!!
5 - If you could invite any person (living or dead) to your last meal, who would it be and why?, and what's on the menu?
I'd have to have my son to my last meal to give him all the last minute advice I can. On the menu no starter - to leave room for dessert. Main course - something simple like a nice steak, seasonal veg and mash. Dessert would have to be hot apple pie with a good quality vanilla ice cream.