AN American confectionery fan is sharing her taste for US sweet things with the opening of a new shop in Cramlington.
RentonRyan American Speciality started out life as a barrow selling US goodies in Newcastle, before moving to a kiosk in Cramlington’s Manor Walks.
Claire Renton teamed up with her friend Elci Ryan in the US to launch the business.
“It all started as a goodie parcel being sent from my best friend Elci Ryan in San Francisco, California,” said Claire.
“Every few months she would send me a parcel of sweets and biscuits that I had enjoyed when I worked in the USA and I could not get here in the UK.
“We had always wanted to go into business together but it never seemed to be the right time or the right type of venture.”
But in May this year, they decided to go for it, with Elci shipping the goods direct from the US and Claire selling them via a barrow in Newcastle city centre.
Claire said: “I had researched the market in Newcastle and found that there were some offerings of American products but they were all very expensive, and as a mum I was not willing to spend over £7 for a box of cereal no matter how good it was.
“Also we have friends who need gluten-free products and even in the local supermarkets, the prices are quite high, whereas a lot of American chocolate, cake mixes and frostings are gluten-free and cheaper.”
She is able to keep the prices down because there is no middleman.
“As a family-run business we know how important it is to keep our prices as low as we can,” said Claire.
“After much research we found that over 40% of our customers shopped in Manor Walks, Cramlington, and when a kiosk became available we knew we had to move forward.
“A kiosk was the next step up from a barrow and as the overheads were not huge we would be able to continue to give our customers the best possible prices.”