Pudding manufacturers Dessert Heaven have gone in for seconds by investing in a new venture.
Headquartered in High Spen, a rural area of Gateshead, the firm produces freshly made cakes, desserts and savoury pastries which are distributed to hundreds of restaurants, cafes and hotels across the North East.
The business is headed-up by Rachel Charlton and already has a shop on Stanley high street, but the new store, based in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, will be run by her Mrs Charlton’s 19-year-old daughter Dayna, who has been involved in the business since she was 13.
The business provides custom orders for birthdays, weddings and celebrations as well as catering for events.
And thanks to demand for the firm’s sweet treats, Mrs Charlton has ambitions to launch a new shop every year.
Mrs Charlton, who recently won the North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award for Best Rural Business, said: “We sell a traditional Russian Rum cake, and the customers have travelled from miles around to buy it as it is so hard to find in the North East, but our strawberry tarts have been the biggest seller so far.”
The business, which bakes 3,000 fresh cakes and savouries a week, has employed six people for the new store, bringing the total number of employees to 20.
With requests coming from as far as Birmingham, the business is looking to continually grow, having recently invested £30,000 in the new shop with state of the art equipment.
Caroline Preston, the rural enterprise development officer who is supporting Rachel through the Rural Growth Network in Gateshead, said: “It’s great to see businesses like this flourishing. There are so many great businesses based in rural areas and it has been a pleasure to support Rachel with some funding to help the growth of the business.”
Dayna Charlton added: “I’m so proud to be running my own shop, and proud of my mum for setting up the business. I’m learning all of the tricks of the trade and my mum employs lots of young people like me. She is really supportive and loves seeing us progress.
“I knew there was going to be demand for the shop, but we’ve been busier than expected. We even sold 300 cakes on the first day.”