BRIDES looking for a tasty alternative to traditional floral displays may be inspired by Clare Kilcoyne’s edible creations.
Clare decided to set up her own business which creates mouthwateringly-good bouquets – featuring fruit hand dipped in chocolate – after searching for the perfect gift for a special occasion.
Fruits Of The Florist is one of 70 new businesses boosting York’s economy which were set up with help from the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
Launched in 2011 by the Government, the scheme gives entrepreneurial job seekers the opportunity to have coaching and financial support to establish their own business.
The 70 businesses created in York join just under 4,000 across Yorkshire and the Humber, and more than 32,000 nationally to have been set up with help from New Enterprise Allowance (NEA).
Clare, from near Fridaythorpe, was made redundant last year and decided to look at the option of starting her own business, and now runs Fruits Of The Florist.
The concept involves creating bouquets of fruit and decorated chocolate, and fruit displays for weddings and events.
Clare said: “Fruits Of The Florist was born while I was searching for an ideal and unique gift for a friend’s 40th birthday present.
“She loves fruit and adores chocolate so I went on to search for the perfect gift. While searching I came across a company down south who provided fabulous bouquets made from fruit smothered in chocolate. Unfortunately due to location she was unable to deliver but offered me a chance to train with her.
“I went and learnt all about it and brought it back up north.”
Ms Kilcoyne’s Job Centre Plus adviser encouraged the idea, and referred her to the NEA scheme to get her idea off the ground. With determination and drive Ms Kilcoyne launched Fruits Of The Florist a week after joining the scheme.
She said: “I noticed a gap in the market and decided to take the opportunity. The NEA scheme helped me get the business off the ground and it’s doing really well. “The product is unusual, eye catching and offers a fun alternative to the usual floral bouquet. I’ve exhibited in several events and I supply a large hotel chain with personalised gifts.
“I have had some great support and would recommend if someone has the skills or the product to make a go of it in business to talk to their Job Centre Advisor about the NEA scheme.”
The Government recently announced that the NEA scheme will be extended until 2016.