Fudge Kitchen MD, Sián Holt, announced as Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year
The awards, in partnership with Starling Bank, acknowledges and champions the hard work and uplifting stories of business owners across the UK, with an emphasis on their journey and resilience as opposed to just financial achievements.
Holt has been at the helm of the Fudge Kitchen business for almost 30 years. What started out as a handful of fudge shops evolved into a fully-fledged artisan confectionery business with an extensive product offering, a strong wholesale network and own label production for some of the UK’s most prestigious hotels and department stores.
As the company prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary, the artisan confectionery producer has become an employee-owned business, through an Employee Ownership Trust.
Holt said she made the decision earlier this year “to ensure Fudge Kitchen would be in the best hands to deliver their mission going forward”.
Fudge Kitchen now hopes to ensure that as a purpose-driven business it is able to continue to deliver on its mission, while affording all their staff greater equity in the business.
“You can’t make the best products without exceptional fudge makers, nor deliver amazing customer experiences and service without energised and passionate entertainers with a love of people,” said Holt.
“And you can’t hope to create a better business for the planet without commitment from a united community. It’s thanks to those amazing teams that we are where we are today, and who we look to for the next four decades of innovation.”
Employee ownership is one of the fastest growing business succession solutions in the UK, where there are now more than 1,000 employee-owned businesses, with the sector more than doubling in the past three years.
Holt established the business in 1983 and bought it outright in 1995. Her mission for Fudge Kitchen has always been to ‘Make Life Sweeter,’ with outlets in in some of the UK’s most historic cities including Canterbury, Bath, York, Edinburgh, Windsor and Cambridge.