A Shrewsbury doughnut business is enjoying the sweet taste of success just seven months after setting up shop.
And Duncan McGregor, who launched Planet Doughnut with his wife Sam in May, says he could not have enjoyed the fantastic start to his business life without the help of the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire.
The business has taken on five new members of staff and now has 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, Planet Doughnut now has eight members of staff – with more new jobs to come as it continues to expand.
Duncan said the help and support he had received from the Growth Hub had been instrumental in his success.
"The Growth Hub supported me from the very start after I was told about them by Good2Great. The hub team provided one-to-one mentoring and played a key part in securing us 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 Council’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 has helped Duncan scale up the business, 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 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.
"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.