Sweet roulette: 'Mystery pick n mix' offering proves popular

James Martin, Director of Sweet Smiles of Norfolk. Picture: Danielle Booden

James Martin, Director of Sweet Smiles of Norfolk. - Credit: Archant 2021

Boxes containing surprise sweet selections are keeping one Norwich family on their toes having only launched a week ago. 

The Martin family, of Thorpe St Andrew, have launched Sweet Smiles of Norfolk, a sweet delivery service with a twist. 

As well as offering traditional pick and mix services the business has compiled mystery sweet boxes.

Customers can chose between 200g, 500g and 1kg of sweets - with the mystery packs containing some firm favourites as well as new products. 

Boxes and bags of sweets ready to be packaged up by James Martin, Director of Sweet Smiles of Norfol

Boxes and bags of sweets ready to be packaged up by James Martin, Director of Sweet Smiles of Norfolk, and his family. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2021

James Martin, a father-of-two, is the only person working full-time in the business, and said: "During lockdown my son ordered himself a football shirt. However instead of ordering exactly what he wanted he just told the seller what he didn't want. 


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"It wasn't a concept we had come across, but he was so pleased with the shirt he got because it wasn't something it would have occurred to him to buy. The idea grew from there and we thought that sweets would be a great product for the business model - who doesn't love sweets?"

Boxes and bags of sweets ready to be packaged up by James Martin, Director of Sweet Smiles of Norfol

Boxes and bags of sweets ready to be packaged up by James Martin, Director of Sweet Smiles of Norfolk, and his family. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2021

Every member of the family pitches in with ideas including Mr Martin's wife Donna, son Ben, 18, and daughter Kiera, 14. 

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Mr Martin has invested around £6,000 in the business - and hopes to be turning over £100,000 within 12 months. 

He said: "We have about half a tonne of sweets in our spare room - all in air-tight containers. 

Boxes and bags of sweets ready to be packaged up by James Martin, Director of Sweet Smiles of Norfol

Boxes and bags of sweets ready to be packaged up by James Martin, Director of Sweet Smiles of Norfolk, and his family. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2021

"We have had a few issues - though nothing like the supermarkets not being able to get hold of Haribo. For me it was more getting hold of the containers because they were so in-demand in lockdown, and getting the right packaging. We wanted something which was sustainable, but also which did the job."

And Mr Martin has big plans for the future: "We would absolutely love to make our own sweets one day. Obviously that'll be a big investment though and it's not the sort of thing we'd necessarily be able to manufacture ourselves depending on what we decide to make. 

James Martin, Director of Sweet Smiles of Norfolk, packing up an order. Picture: Danielle Booden

James Martin, Director of Sweet Smiles of Norfolk, packing up an order. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2021

"I think we'd perhaps try and make fudge as that would give us a lot of flavour options - then again there's already a lot of people doing it so maybe we'd try something a bit more difficult. 

"I just want to build this business for my children, and maybe even my children's children." 

The Martin family, who all pitch in to help on Sweet Smiles of Norfolk

The Martin family, who all pitch in to help on Sweet Smiles of Norfolk - Credit: James Martin


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