Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)  

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A baker from West Cornwall is the latest entrepreneur to benefit from the Start Up Loan scheme.

Artisan cookie sandwich maker, Cookie Queen, has received £25,000 in Start Up funding via SWIG Finance to expand the business.

The loan has enabled business owner, Jo Onda, take on a premises, fit an industrial kitchen, build a website and invest in marketing activities.

Jo, who has been baking since she was a child, began her start up journey by selling baked goods at local farmers markets and hospitality business owners soon got in touch to enquire about stocking her products. Jo now sells her products online via the business’s own website, at local farmers markets and in multiple local cafes.

The business idea came to Jo when she spotted a gap in the market for a product that was halfway between a cake and a cookie. Jo knew she needed to create a product that a customer could buy and transport more easily than a slice of cake.

Using their top-secret recipe, Cookie Queen makes luxury cookie sandwiches filled with buttercream. The cookie sandwiches are currently available in 12 different flavours including standard flavours such as chocolate, and chocolate orange. The more adventurous flavours on offer include Oreo, Ferro Rocher and lemon & blueberry, and a variety of seasonal flavours are created throughout the year. There are also vegan options available.

Whilst COVID-19 has inevitably impacted growth plans, the pandemic did help Jo facilitate the transition from a local to national bakery by forcing her to pivot her business to an online model. Jo is now able to distribute her products to customers across the UK.

Of the funding, Jo commented “I’m really excited to be running my own business. The funding I received has really helped me to transition my business from selling at farmers markets to selling online nationally. My business manager, Nicki, was able to share valuable insight and advice to support my loan application. I would recommend SWIG Finance for Start Up Loan funding”.

SWIG’s Start Up Loans Business Manager, Nicki Kimberley, said “Jo has worked so hard to bring her business to this position. As a Marchant Navy Wife and mother to a 4 year old, what Jo has achieved is admirable.  She has a well-defined long-term vision and she knows what steps she will need to take to achieve her goals. We wish Jo the best of luck with her business”.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director at Start Up Loans, said: “Start Up Loans is here to help people like Jo gain access to the funding and support they need to start a business. What Jo has achieved with Cookie Queen is commendable and I’m proud Start Up Loans has played a part in helping her and so many others across the country to realise their ambition of business ownership.”

About SWIG Finance

SWIG Finance is the South West’s leading Community Development Financial Institution. We are passionate about bringing social and economic benefits to people and places in the South West.

We do this by providing support and finance to Startups and growing SMEs that can create and secure employment opportunities.

As the South West’s leading delivery partner for Start Up Loans UK, we can provide startup loans from £500 – £25,000. For more information visit https://www.swigfinance.co.uk/start-up-loans/

We also have loans from £10,000 to £250,000 available to South West SMEs who cannot access sufficient funding from their bank https://www.swigfinance.co.uk/funds-available/

For an informal discussion about your funding requirements, get in touch with our friendly and professional team to find out how we can help: info@swigfinance.co.uk / 01872 227 932