A 54-year-old Sunderland woman has turned her love of baking into a new business after receiving support from the North East Business & Innovation Centre (BIC).
Christine Meynell launched Truffle Kerfuffle in March 2017 with the help of the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).
Christine, who is a semi-retired civil servant decided to start her new business making and selling artisan truffles after experimenting with flavours and testing the market with friends and family.
Christine said: “Two years ago, I started making Christmas goodie hampers as gifts for my family, and after trying out different ideas for the flavours and type of sweets and chocolates, it led to me making chocolate truffles, and I loved it!
“I started receiving really good feedback and someone suggested I start my own business. It was then I visited the BIC to seek advice on how to set up a legitimate company.
“I now sell a variety of flavoured truffles at craft fairs such as Sunderland Minster and I also accept online orders. It’s important to keep up with seasonal trends so most recently I created special gift sets for Mother’s Day and Easter.”
Truffle Kerfuffle has already received a five star food hygiene rating following a recent local authority inspection, Christine adds: “The local authority were so helpful during their visit and gave me lots of tips.
"Also my business adviser Margaret Cook at the BIC was amazing. She explained how to do my accounts and the legal requirements of setting up.
“I love running my own business and it’s something I can do in my own time with no stress. I still have a lot to learn but that won’t hold me back.
"I currently make around 30 flavours and plan to continue experimenting, growing the business steadily, on a part time basis for the time being.
“If you are starting a business you should read as much information as possible and don’t be afraid to ask people such as the business advisers at the BIC for help.”