Sweet smell of success for Cheshire-based businesswoman

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Sweet smell of success for Cheshire-based businesswoman

Children and their parents can savour the delights of bon bons, sherbet lemons and more than 200 other sweets from years gone by, following the opening of a traditional sweet shop in Alderley Edge.

Businesswoman Judy O'Brien has opened the Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe on London road after securing funding from NatWest commercial banking. The new business sees Judy follow in the footsteps of her late father Harry Jackson, who owned several shops in during the 1960s including a confectioners in Alderley Edge.

Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe is a franchise business that was formed in 2004 and now has more than 100 franchises in the UK and Ireland. Each shop serves numerous varieties of traditional sweets from yesteryear in Victorian-style surroundings.

Judy, who has previously run her own florist business before becoming an ICT teacher, said: I have very fond memories of visiting a sweet shop when I was a child and I am sure that most parents will have had similar memories. I want to try and recreate this feeling of excitement for today's children. Since opening we have had a great response from all parts of the local community from youngsters to grandparents visiting the shop."

Claire Mason, NatWest Relationship Manager, said: "Judy produced a very thorough business plan and it is clear that she has spent a great deal of time and effort assessing this business model. We are very happy to be able to support the launch of this new business."

Earlier this year NatWest launched a Franchise Fund that provides £100m of new loans for fast-growing franchise businesses in the UK. The fund offers reduced fees of 1% and a 12 month capital repayment holidays subject to credit approval.

The 2011 NatWest and British Franchise Association annual franchise industry survey shows that 10% of the UK's franchise businesses are based in the North West and region's franchise industry has a turnover of £1.3bn.

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