Planet Doughnut, Shrewsbury Case Study
Planet Doughnut enjoys the sweet taste of success
"The help from the Marches Growth Hub has been immense. Their support and expertise has really helped us get where we need to be." Duncan McGregor, Planet Doughnut.
Five new jobs as business booms for Shrewsbury start-up
Free start-up workshop helped turn dream into reality
One-to-one mentoring sessions set business on road to success
New kiosk secured in town shopping centre
Growth Hub team help find new manufacturing base
Husband and wife team Duncan and Sam McGregor created Planet Doughnut in a small kitchen in Shropshire in May - and have seen the business boom as customers flock to sample their home-made, handcrafted treats.
They now have a shop on the town's Claremont Hill, a kiosk in the busy town centre shopping centre and a production unit at the Food Enterprise Centre on the edge of town.
Having started out with three employees, the business now has eight members of staff - with more new jobs to come as it continues to expand.
Further growth will come as Duncan targets the corporate market and also launches a doughnut subscription service. Throughout the company's launch, he has received ongoing support and advice from the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire team and built up a close working relationship with the hub's Emma Chapman and Anna Sadler.
How the Marches Growth Hub helped
The Growth Hub supported Duncan from the very start, after he was told about them by Shropshire-based Good2Great, where he attended a two-day start-up workshop, backed up by one-to-one sessions with a business mentor.
The hub team also provided their own one-to-one mentoring to help Duncan grow, playing a key part in securing him a kiosk in the heart of Shrewsbury's main shopping centre.
Duncan was also selected to be one of eight businesses offered exposure as part of the Growth Hub's pop-up shop initiative and he attended a producer to retailer workshop at the Growth Hub run by the team and Buy-From Shropshire.
The growth hub has also supported Duncan in securing a production unit at Shropshire's Food Enterprise Centre, bringing his entire operation within Shrewsbury.
Duncan said: "The help and support I have received has been terrific. The Growth Hub team managed to negotiate a great deal on the new unit at the Food Enterprise Centre and a prime site at the shopping centre."
The close-working relationship Planet Doughnut has enjoyed with the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire has helped the company enjoy a hugely successful start to its life.
Duncan McGregor has been able to scale up the business from its original shop to open a new kiosk and production unit, increasing the workforce from three to eight. He expects that to increase to 11 in the new year as growth continues.
Mentoring from the team's experts has also led Duncan to develop the range of doughnuts he offers - including vegan options, a Diddy Doughnut and membership scheme - spreading his risk and helping him reach new markets.
"They have helped me think outside the box and made sure I have not had to do everything on my own. Any new business needs support and expertise and people with the contacts to help make it a success. That is what the Marches Growth Hub has given me."
The move to the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre from the former production base 15 miles away has helped improve productivity and efficiency, whilst reducing the amount of food miles the doughnuts travel. It also means the company will have greater space to meet larger orders and cater for the corporate market.
The Growth Hub's business support team will continue to work with Planet Doughnut as a tenant in the Food Enterprise Centre, helping him realise future growth plans.
Duncan is keen to develop his B2B sales and also explore grant and funding opportunities to help him expand still further.
"My work with the Growth Hub is an ongoing relationship and I am confident there is a lot more to come. So far we have just explored the tip of the iceberg," he said