One of the highlights of providing PR support for Bamboo Nine clients over the past six months has been getting to know Christina Brown, founder of UK e-commerce confectionary company Sweet Tree by Browns
This week, in the run-up to every chocolatier’s busiest day of the year – Valentine’s Day – we found out that Christina has made the shortlist for Confectionary Entrepreneur of the Year in the 2021 UK Food & Drink Heroes Awards
Sweet Tree By Browns specialises in making unique edible trees and smashable pinata-style chocolate gifts featuring the UK’s favourite branded sweets. Creations are hand made and packaged by former pastry chef Christina and her team in the Brown’s family kitchen in Watford.
This is a home-grown, family-run business that has developed a loyal and often high-profile following since it began ten years ago. Their confectionery has featured in the Big Brother house, on ITV’s This Morning, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Celebrity Juice. The brand even counts members of the Royal Family among its recent customers.
Set up after Christina received positive feedback from family and friends after she created a Sweet Tree for her daughter’s wedding, the company had a difficult early start. In her own words, Christina ‘messed up’ financially in the first two years, losing everything, including the outlet she had traded from, and worsening her Myelitis (a condition that inflames the spinal cord).
The stress of business failure put Christina permanently in a wheelchair but she didn’t give up and started again from her family kitchen. Eight years later, Christina is now selling around 130,000 products a year and employing a team of ten – and every room in her house resembles Willy Wonka’s factory!
The company now has an annual turnover of just under £2m and is having its busiest trading year ever. Sales have increased by 100% as the business has generated a growing volume of online customers and a network of e-commerce partners, including Not On The High Street and Find Me A Gift. They have had to take on more staff during the Covid-19 pandemic to cope with demand.
"Christina is so pleased to have been shortlisted. We all are! Thank you so much for entering us."
Polly Williams, Operations Manager, Sweet Tree by Browns