Meet the next Alan Sugar – a schoolboy who has already made £1k running a SWEETS business.
Luke Scotney, 11, has a severe nut allergy and struck upon the idea after struggling to find pick and mix he could eat.
He then launched his bespoke brand late last year – and is already making £500 a month.
Mum Michelle Scotney, 40, helps him sort the orders at their home in Peterborough.
Luke said: “I have a severe nut allergy, and it’s been impossible to find pick n mix sweets that are safe to eat.
“I pitched the idea to mum and we looked and couldn’t find anyone doing something similar – so we launched the idea ourselves.
“We’re currently on our third restock of sweets having sold out twice before.
“We’ve made about £1000 – but we are on track to make more.”
Michelle said Luke has always had business acumen and has pitched countless ideas to her over the years.
Most were creative but unrealistic until, in October last year, he came up with Sweets4mysweet.com.
Luke originally wanted to make pick and mix that doesn’t contain traces of nuts.
But the brand has now morphed into sweets free from other allergens as well.
Michelle says she is committed to investing both her time and money to make it work after hearing her son’s idea.
The pair taught themselves how to build a website, ordered in stock and launched the business in December 2021.
Michelle, who runs another business alongside, said: “Luke’s ideas up to this point had always been great – just a bit out there.
“But the nut free pick and mix business was genius and, more importantly, very feasible.
“He’s allergic to peanuts and tree nuts so he knows what its like not to be able to have pick and mix.
“So I lent him the money and together we launched Sweets4mysweet.com.
“The expense of using a website builder was huge, so we did some research and built our own.
“It took about a month of trial and error – but when we found the format we wanted, we got it up and running in a day.”
Michelle and Luke found two sweet wholesalers to order from and ordered 50 different types of sweets in 3kg packets each.
The sweets come packaged separately to avoid any allergy contamination and all are completely free from traces of nuts.
They keep their produce in a spare room at home and recently received top marks from Peterborough Council after an inspection on health and safety.
The duo sold out their first order before Christmas – making a profit of £500.
They have since sold out again, profiting another £500, and are currently halfway through shifting their third restock of sweets.
They are 50/50 partners, and the majority of the profit is currently being pumped back into the business and repaying Michelle for the start-up loan.
Luke plans to buy warehouse space in the future so he’s able to order more stock and grow his business, employ staff and eventually open his own store.
He said: “Mum’s in charge of the finances and I’m the creative one – although I’m learning all the time.
“75% of all profit goes back into the business, 12.5% goes in my savings and 12.5% goes to repaying my mum and dad for the loan.
“Obviously the money is great, but its just as much about providing people with sweets which they can trust and enjoy.
“Me and Mum work great as a team and so far there’s been no hiccups – but we’re always prepared for the future.
“It doesn’t matter I’m young now, I plan to expand this business right through to adulthood – I can’t wait.”
Michelle added that Luke is putting some of his money into silver – as a way of making more cash.
She said: “Luke invests in silver coins from a website, as they grow in value.
“Silver is starting to become a rare commodity. It’s used in iPhones and in cars, so it’s going up in value.
“The coins themselves weigh around an ounce and come in sets. They are are released constantly and differ in rarity.”