Joob Joobs to open city centre shop - now that's sweet
THERE may still be the dregs of festive selection boxes lying around home and offices, along with those unloved picks from shrinkflation sweets tins.
But they certainly won't be 'Joob Joobs'.
That's the name of a new brand of confectionery launched by 28-year-old Holywood go-getter Francesca Fennel.
And if you haven't yet been online and sampled the unique Joob Joobs range, your sweet tooth could soon be placated.
That's because Francesca revealed that she's in the final throes of legals to open a bricks-and-mortar store in Belfast city centre in the coming weeks (dependent on Covid trading arrangements).
"Originally I'd intended opening a shop first, then taking the business online, but the restrictions from last year forced a rethink and we went the other way round," she said.
"I was adamant my confectionary business should be something completely new and fresh, and suitable for all budgets.
"Above all, our offer had to be about products you couldn't get anywhere else, and I believe we've achieved that."
Joob Joobs (the name derives from jube, an old-fashioned word for a gummy type of sweet) caters for just about every type of sweet tooth, be it traditional, vegan, gluten free or just something different.
In another unique slant to the business, Francesca and her investors have pledged to donate 10 per cent of all profits to the Tens Foundation charity on Belfast's Lisburn Road, which supports vulnerable children, families and communities in the Philippines.
"We want to stand out from the crowd in as many aspects of the business as possible," she says.
"For instance, we don't use a wholesaler, but instead go directly to the businesses, and it's taken us two years to build our supplier chain, so we negotiate every single product directly.
"We cater for everyone's confectionery tastes under the one roof. We have vegan, we have gluten free, we have organic products and we also have our own line of chocolate bars and tubs which are handmade in Cornwall.
"None of what we stock is currently available in Northern Ireland except through Joob Joobs. And while you can only order online now at https://joobjoobs.com, we look forward, Covid-permitting, to opening our new shop by the spring," she added.