Sudbury entrepreneur Keelan Waldock, 21, looking to become household name after brownie business 'Bwownies' booms during lockdown
A university student from Suffolk who started his own business from scratch in school plans to make his business a household name after moving into his first industrial unit and creating plans to hire staff.
Keelan Waldock, 21, from Sudbury, began Bwownies when he was still in school.
After building a stable following, his business boomed during lockdown, meaning that he has had to rent a unit near to his university home in Exeter.
"I have always been passionate about food and love making food, but brownies was just the one that was so different to anything else. That was the one I could make that was so unique," he told Suffolk News.
"I was on the way back from a cricket game with my nan. She was the one that told me to turn this into a business, and we were writing names down on my phone and the last one was Bwownies.
"It is just so unique and different to anything else. I couldn't believe it hadn't been taken. Putting the 'wow' in the brownies just sums up the product."
Beginning the business in school meant Mr Waldock knew his target market. He targeted his peers and people of his age, asking them to follow him on social media.
During lockdown, the 21-year-old University of Exeter student sent 'thousands' of emails to influencers to help try and grow his brand. He heard back from a number of those he had emailed, including Pleesecakes, who have almost 230,000 followers on Instagram.
He said: "I started in sixth form, and I started an Instagram page as that was how I was going to get customers, through social media.
"I brought in a load of free samples [for my friends]. Then obviously I attracted a load of students over as they just wanted free stuff. So I said that they could have one, but only if they shared my Instagram page onto their stories."
Splitting his time between university studies and the business has proved challenging for Keelan.
"It is definitely difficult, but it is just finding a routine and settling into that," he added.
"It's hard because I want to go out and live my life occasionally, but I also want to do this, so you have to got to find a balance and do your best."
The continued growth - he doubled his following as a result of his plan to email influencers - meant that he had to move into the unit instead of baking at home. Soon, he is looking to bring staff on board to help cope with the demand.
"After university I'll be moving back to Suffolk and be looking to get a unit there, and obviously taking on staff. But I am actually looking at taking on a couple of people in the next couple of weeks to help me keep up with the demand and make content.
"They're the next steps for the next year or so, but beyond that my ultimate goal is to make Bwownies a household name."
To find out more about Bwownies and Keelan, click here.