Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Entrepreneurial Mum's Sweet Taste of Success; FOOD

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Entrepreneurial Mum's Sweet Taste of Success; FOOD

Article excerpt

Byline: COREENA FORD coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

Amy Granger, founder of Essy & Bella, with her >daughter Esme. Inset, Mr Fox and Little Miss Owl are two of the company's products AN ENTREPRENEURIAL mother who set up a business making dairy free and gluten free chocolate is in line for a top award.

Amy Granger, 33, set up Essy & Bella Chocolate two years ago after struggling to find sweet treats to give her daughters when she discovered they were allergic to dairy products.

With financial help in the form of a PNE (Project North East) Enterprise start-up loan and assistance from friends and family, Mrs Granger launched the firm with a list of products including dairy free milk chocolate, made with rice milk, and a range of gourmet bars including black forest, cherry bakewell and banoffee crunch.

Two years after launching, Mrs Granger has moved into a factory unit in Pelaw, Gateshead - one of only a handful of dedicated dairy and gluten free chocolate factories in existence - where she manufactures all the products herself. As well as selling the products online, they are also available in stockists including The Lookout in Seaham and Farplace Animal Rescue Charity Shop and Health Foods in Newcastle.

She plans to take on extra employees to help her soon, as awareness of the Essy & Bella brand grows.

Helping to raise the profile further, she has just earned herself a place in the final line-up of The Mumpreneur Awards, an annual ceremony which celebrates UK parents who manage the difficult task of juggling business with family life.

Mrs Granger - who is mother to Isobel, five, Esme, three, and 14-month-old Cicely - has been shortlisted for the Spark category, which is open to businesses started after April 2013 which have made a big impact.

She is also in with a chance of winning the title of The Inspirational Business Mum 2015.

She said: My daughters have been the main driver for the business really. …

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