The funding, provided by SWIG Finance via the Start Up Load Scheme, has allowed the business to take on premises, fit an industrial kitchen and invest in marketing activities.
Founder Jo Onda said: “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.”
Growth during the pandemic
While the outbreak of COVID-19 initially impacted its growth plans, the artisan baker ultimately befitted by the sudden shift to an online model for distribution. Previously sold via local events such as farmers markets, Cookie Queen now distributes its products to customers across the UK.
Cookie Queens’s cookie sandwiches are currently available in 12 different flavours with vegan options available.
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.”
SWIG provides start-up loans from £500–£25,000 through Start Up Loans UK, as well as more substantial loans worth £10,000–£250,000 to businesses in the south west of England unable to source sufficient funding from banks.
Meanwhile, alcoholic tea brand Noveltea is set to expand its business and create jobs after securing a £1.4m investment.
The drinks firm, who previously appeared on the BBC TV show Dragons’ Den, said the funding would be used to help target new overseas markets, expand Noveltea’s product range and create 20 new jobs at the company’s base in Newcastle.