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Local Pick ’n’ Mix counter taking over Yorkshire!

For couple, Tayla Harris and Harry Lynch, planning to travel around the world was their next adventure after finishing university. They needed to fund their travels so decided to sell sweet pizza boxes in their local area to make some extra cash. Over a year later and Covid-19 putting a abrupt end to their travelling dreams, Sugar Rush Sweeties is now Leeds’ biggest pick and mix counter.

What started as delivering to your home, Sugar Rush Sweeties now has a HQ based in Garforth where you can choose over 50 types of sweets as well as get your hands on milkshakes, cookie dough and confectionary from around the world.

Wine & Dine Yorkshire’s feature writer, Ellie Atack, spoke to Tayla to find out more about Sugar Rush Sweeties and what their plans are for the future.

How did the idea come about?
At the time (October 2019) we were both working full time jobs (banking and teaching) and were saving to go traveling so was looking at things that could get us some extra money to take away with us. We saw another company delivering sweet pizza boxes down south and straight away recognised that it was such a good idea. We did some research into it and realised no one was doing anything like it up north so we decided to take the risk and start it up. We then did the deliveries after work at night and it took off immediately!

Where do you deliver to?
We’ve got two delivery services available – Local and Postal. We deliver ourselves locally within a 6 mile radius around Garforth, delivering to places such as Kippax, Crossgates and Woodlesford.
We post out orders nationwide on a daily basis for those who don’t live in our local radius. Postal orders are made through our website and a next working day delivery option is available.

When did you decide to open your shop?
Throughout lockdown the business grew significantly. It was crazy how busy we were everyday! This really made us realise that there’s such a large target audience for sweets. We thought opening a shop so unique like ours would just attract more people into buying sweets… we decided it was worth the risk to open a shop and not to go back to our planned careers. When lockdown started to ease we thought the time was right and started looking for a space suitable for us.

What challenges have you faced?
We initially found a unit and a week before moving in it all fell through. We were gutted as we believed that space was perfect for us but our family and friends kept reminding us that it wasn’t meant to be. We had already purchased numerous items for the shop so we began to frantically search for another which got demoralising. We then luckily found the unit we are in now and it couldn’t of worked out better. Another challenge that we have faced has been managing the shop through Covid. We have found it really hard trying to ask people to hand sanitise, wear masks, etc.

What is our proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement was definitely opening weekend. Both days we had a constant queue from open to close andwe were literally amazed! Additionally, the feedback we have received since opening has been incredibly touching which has made us feel very proud as to what we’ve achieved at such a young age.

How has COVID-19 affected our business?
COVID-19 has had both positive and negative affects on our business. Through lockdown our business grew massively. Many people were at home wanting deliveries and were spending a lot of time on social media. This helped our orders to grow and also our online following. One of the negative affects Covid has had on our business is the difficulty in receiving some stock. Its been especially hard trying to get the imported sweets from America and Australia. A lot of the unusual products that we like to sell have been out of stock for months or are even taking months to arrive.

What are your plans for the future?
Our next step on a whole is opening a second shop which we have already been looking into and we are very excited. Hopefully in the next few years we will have a few shops open! Our plans for our current shop is to expand our deserts menu and to have a better range of sweets to accommodate those with dietary specific needs such as gluten free.

If you would like to visit Sugar Rush Sweeties HQ is based in Garforth, Leeds or have your sweets delivered to you, please click here.

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