Vertical Plus is pleased to announce the launch and development of a new confectionary partner – The Devon Fudge Company. David Gadd, CEO of Vertical Plus, feels investment in small niche brands is part of the future growth in E Commerce:
“With ever increasing competition on-line it is good to be working with unique products that can be moulded and created for the online market place. There is an ever increasing tendency online to just sell the top selling brands and this just leads to reduced margins and ultimately little profit. However niche brands like this give us an opportunity to grow without fear of being out priced by the competition. This will just be about producing the right product and then putting it front of as many customers as possible through as many channels as possible. There will be a lot of product development work but it will be interesting to see what we can acheive.”
After successfully building a strong customer base at food markets and with bespoke corporate/wedding orders for its secret recipe fudge, the Plymouth-based company came to Vertical Plus looking to further maximise its growth potential via online sales. As well as designing a new website and the company is now and E Commerce partner so our marketing teams will be hard at work looking for growth opportunities.
Nicole Sage, Partnership Co-ordinator at Vertical Plus, said the quality of the fudge products had already helped the company make its mark in niche sectors. It provides bespoke lavender fudge to Plymouth’s Boringdon Hall Hotel to use as pillow gifts and is in talks with other major hotels in Devon.
“The task now is to take the company’s sales to the next level and in particular growing those sales throughout the year,” said Nicole. “The product range will be expanded considerably over the coming year and the branding/marketing push throughout 2017 will also be a key element of our work. We gained 1,000 Facebook ‘likes’ within the first month and we are looking to collaborate with a group of food bloggers to come up with tasty recipes using fudge.”
With no gluten and artificial additives and preservatives, the fudge is handmade in a copper kettle and takes an hour to cook, during which time it is constantly stirred with a large wooden spoon. It is the temperature and cooling process that is vital to the creamy product, which is available in a range of scrumptious flavours, including rum and raisin, vanilla, zesty orange and double chocolate. Current owner Peter Baldwin started in the business in the 1980s working for his father Peter snr, who was originally a commercial beekeeper, and his business partner at the time. When his father and the partner both died relatively young in the late nineties, Peter jnr left the fudge business temporarily and worked in a variety of jobs for 15 years. Peter said it was his wife Alison who finally gave him her blessing – and the impetus – to start the fudge business again in 2013 when she bought him a thermometer, chef’s hat and an apron that Christmas.
“Starting up the business again had always been in the back of mind and my wife just told me to go for it. I had realised over time that the Westcountry lacked a quality creamy fudge cooked in the traditional methods and, having never forgotten that wonderful secret recipe, I started making it again.
“Many people have told me ‘at last, a decent Westcountry fudge’ which has helped the company go from strength to strength. Now we are extremely excited at the prospect of future growth with the help of Vertical Plus.”