Project image
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£1,576
pledged of £25,000pledged of £25,000 goal
31
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, October 31 2014 12:00 AM UTC +00:00
£1,576
pledged of £25,000pledged of £25,000 goal
31
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, October 31 2014 12:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

We have a dream....it's an ambitious dream that we're already part way to building. We want to build a chocolate factory that will also become also a major UK tourist attraction too. 

Many years ago my Great Uncles invented a gorgeous toffee called the Riley's Toffee Roll.  They grew their fledgling company from their Mother's kitchen table at the start until they had a major confectionery factory in Halifax (Yorkshire) which exported their toffees all around the world. (In fact Riley's Toffee Tins can be found all over the world on EBay, showing just how far afield they exported them!) 

The Brothers started the company in 1907 and by the 1950s one of the brothers had passed away. The remaining brother decided that he couldn't continue with the business without his right hand man, so he sold it. Firstly it went to Callard & Bowser but then went through a succession of corporate buy outs that included McVities Biscuits and eventually it ended up with Kraft Plc. 

However, the toffee was taken out of production during the late 80s/early 90s, and McVities turned the original Hopwood Lane Riley's factory into a biscuit factory which they still use today. 

By chance when my Granny (Ella Riley - After whom I named the company) passed away I was left her old cookery book. Initially it sat on my Father's (her Son's) book shelf then after about a decade he remembered that it had been left to me (her only Granddaughter) 

Shamefully, I too left it on my bookcase for a number of years, unwilling to read the beautiful handwriting that reminds me so much of Granny as I just found it too upsetting! However, one wet Easter holiday with nothing to entertain the children I decided it was time to turn to Granny for a recipe to cook with them to keep them happy. Upon opening the recipe book, a piece of paper fluttered out. At the top in Granny's distict handwriting it said....Riley's Toffee Rolls.

And so that is how the Riley's Toffee Roll came back into being.  It was a close call too. If I'd not been passed Granny's recipe, or decided to not check through it, the original handwritten recipe might never have seen the light of day ever again and the Riley's might never have been made again. 

We were also very fortuitous when it came to registering the name, Riley's Toffee Rolls.  It had just fallen out of registration with Kraft and they hadn't re-registered it. We were able to swoop in and register the name, securing it for well over the next decade. It also meant we had the historical naming rights to the brand too. Something that has allowed us to grow the company to where we are today. 

Steven (My Husband) and I have worked hard for the last 5 years to rebuild the brand from scratch. Initially we only sold the toffee from our original shop in Yorkshire. Then when we moved to Wales we invested in a chocolate enrober, this allowed us to start wholesaling the toffee to individual sweetshops across the UK & Ireland. We now supply over 160 sweetshops here, but we want to grow the company back to it's former glory. We really want to be shipping the toffee around the world again. 

So this is stage one of that plan. We would like to invest in a toffee boiler and a cooling table, some packaging boxes and to build a viewing gallery in our current shop. We get so many visitors who come from around the world to see our shop and it always feels disappointing if we can't allow them to actually see the toffees being made due to the current lay out of our shop. So we want to be able to invest in these bits of machinery and to showcase them in the shop behind a viewing gallery so customers can see what we make. We want to make our shop a real tourist attraction and a "must visit" destination for anyone visiting Wales.

We have already had new packaging designed for the toffees which will enable us to grow our market share. These boxes will allow us to sell to Delis and cafes, as well as abroad to the USA. We have worked really hard to secure full FDA registration which means we will be able to export to America.  We have also been securing orders from large UK warehouses and distributors which means that shortly we will have to up scale our output to satisfy their orders.  However to do so we now need to invest in some pretty heavy duty equipment so we can upscale as we currently handmake all our toffees and we need to move our production on to a larger scale now.

Once we have this equipment in place not only will we be able to produce more toffee but we will be in a position (thanks to an increase in orders) be able to employ 3 apprentices to learn what is rapidly becoming a dying artisan craft of confectionery making.

Once we have achieved stage one of this plan we hope in future years to be able to build our very own chocolate factory with visitor centre from scratch, indeed why stop there as it would be great to build it as part of a wider specialist food complex that will allow other small food producers to start their businesses up in the company with other like minded food companies.  After all if the Kickstarter community can help us, it has a ripple effect down the years and in the future & we too would like to help others. 

Risks and challenges

We will be relying on other companies for some aspects of this project. For example the boxes that we've had designed, we've chosen 3 printers who've all come to us on recommendation (1 to use and 2 as back ups in case anything goes wrong with the first printer!) we are also relying on 2 external companies to provide us with the equipment. One we have used before for other equipment we have purchased but the other is an industry leader, so we are comfortable that they will easily be able to fulfil our order. However again if for any reason they are not able to to be do have a back up company as our 2nd choice from which to purchase from.
We forsee that training could be an issue for new staff, however we have worked for the last 5 months putting together a staff training scheme along with a staff manual to help them assimilate into their new roles with the least amount of problems but the maximum amount of knowledge.

Other than this, we are hopeful that the project will run smoothly and that we will be able complete all the rewards we've promised to our backers in a timely fashion.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 6

    Somebody once said, Every Little Helps, and for this project it certainly does. We regularly get asked to do TV work in relation to sweets for this £5 donation we will notify you (and other donators) when we need extras. So this is your opportunity to be on TV enjoying sweets. It is an open ended offer.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 13

    How about a double whammy reward?

    For £10 pledge you will get a full acknowledgement on our website and Facebook page ALONG with a 12 month sponsorship of one of our jars at Ella Riley Sweetshop on Nolton Street. This can be a personal name or promote your business(subject to approval). Previous examples have been a Dr Who fan sponsoring the Jelly Babies and local Hair Dresser sponsoring Jelly Beans, a National Physic Medium has sponsored the Fairy Satins and the local Bridal Shop has sponsored the Banana Eclairs.

    We will work with you to decide which jar is best for you and try to make sure you get the jar that best suits you.

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    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 19

    As a thank you for being a building brick to our growth plans, we will assign a brick on our shop wall outside to acknowledge your help. Whether it's your name or that of a special someone we will commemorate your support by adding you to our wall of fame. We will also photograph your brick and post it on our social media feeds.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About US$ 31

    Part of this project is to purchase our newly designed Deli Packs so that we can extend our customer base to include shops who do not "Weigh Out".

    For this pledge you will receive an exclusive limited edition run of these boxes which includes 1/2 pound of mixed Riley Toffee Rolls.

    Each box will be couriered to your address and will contain a personally signed letter from the Directors.

    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to receive a genuine collectors items

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About US$ 63

    This project will see a number of changes to our shop in Nolton Street, Bridgend. Once these improvements are completed we will be having an exclusive launch party evening. This will include guided tours of the new machinery purchased, the opportunity to see how they work, the chance to enjoy some drinks, nibbles & sweeties and the chance to speak to the Directors to see how the project has run and see first hand how your input has helped.

    For those unable to attend we will run a tour through Skype or Facetime at your convenience around the date.

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    4 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About US$ 189

    An evening in a sweet shop? Making toffee, fudge and sweets? For 4 people? Surely that would cost a fortune.

    No it doesn't, for a £150 pledge you can bring 3 friends to our kitchens at Ella Rileys in Bridgend and having the sweetest evening possible. The best thing is that you get to take away everything that you make.

    We have run many of these evenings over the years and they are hugely popular. Whether it be for a birthday party, a girly night out or a family get together an evening in Ella Riley'[s kitchen is perfectly sweet.

    You will have up to 12 months to use this reward and can arrange it at a date and time to suit your schedule

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About US$ 630

    Have you ever wanted the aroma of a sweet shop right there in your own home? Have you ever wanted to wow your friends with your very own confectioner in the kitchen? Well Steven our head toffee maker will come to your home for the day/evening and will divulge in a private session the secrets to successful sweet making. You will learn how to make sweets and confections, you'll be shown all the tricks of the trade, in a fun, entertaining session in the comfort of your own home!

    **only available in UK

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About US$ 1,259

    Ever fancied creating your own sweet? For this pledge we will work with you to design and produce a sweet that you can name and we will put into production.

    Using our experience and your ideas, we will collaborate together until your sweet is produced and made available for sale to our network of stockists worldwide.

    In years to come you'll be able to stand back and say to your children and grandchildren, "I created that!"

    T&C's: Name will be subject to approval and Trademark Law.

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Funding period

- (28 days)