Junior Meets Craft & Crumb
Craft & Crumb the brand behind the Junior Design Award winning DIY baking and activity sets, party bags and a baking club subscription who offer children the gift of cooking.
Craft & Crumb’s fabulous baking packs are not only beautifully presented – with truly original and tempting looking baking recipes would really excite children and inspire them to cook but, simple to follow instructions and pre-measured ingredients mean these recipes are practically foolproof for all the family. We also highly rate the eco friendly packaging.
We caught up with Craft and Crumb’s co-founder Louise Nicholson
Q: What made you want to launch a baking business
Kate and I found ourselves wanting to launch our baking business when we struggled to find fun baking kits that suited what we as mums wanted to bake and make with our kids. We both spent lots of time baking and cooking with our mums when we were children and we were keen to find fun actives to do with our kids in the kitchen when we became mums ourselves.
That’s even more important now when screen time is such an irresistible draw for kids, but offering them quality time together in the kitchen to bake and do a spot of simple crafting is fun for both parents and children alike. We launched our party bags when our kids came of an age where they started going to class parties and typically came home with party bags full of single use plastic which usually ended up in the bin, mainly as the contents were so uninspiring.
Today, our party bags are our best sellers as parents are looking for sustainable, personalised entirely unique party bags that allow the fun to continue back home.
Q: Do you have any tips for friends going into business together?
I feel utterly blessed to be working with a friend, I couldn’t possibly imagine doing this on my own nor with any other friend – mainly because we are so similar yet have very different strengths. We work brilliantly well together as we have very clear roles and responsibilities and this is key. We don’t tread on each other’s toes but act as a great sounding board for each other. We still holiday as families together and have a tendency to chat work when we on the beach in Norfolk – we really must stop that!
Q: What is the favourite product in your range?
My personal favourite is our Christmas Jumper kit – I love it because it can be gifted to young or old, girl or boy and it really is one that all the family can get involved in as each person decorates their own jumper biscuit as they wish. Last year when the UK was shut down for Christmas, we had lots of orders from corporate businesses that were unable to celebrate ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ in the office but gifted these to their employees and families instead. We were sent so many photos and asked to be judges of their bake offs, it was brilliant fun!
Q: Tell us what’s new at C&C and about your latest range for Ocado / John Lewis?
Ocado and John Lewis both approached us earlier this summer looking to launch premium, eco-friendly baking ranges in their stores. We’d always wanted to launch an ‘every day’ baking kit and Ocado’s requirements offered us this very opportunity. We also seized the moment to reimagine our packaging to cleverly use the inside as a themed craft too – embracing both the craft and the crumb in our name.
We re-created some of our best sellers in a smaller retail friendly box as well as a unique and really fun Ocado Van baking kit which they loved. Their van is an integral part of their business as it is the only point of human contact their customers have with their brand – to recreate this as a baking kit so customers could make their own biscuit vans complete with logo has proven to be really popular. The packaging can re-used into a model van too.
John Lewis were looking for a different offering, they saw our kits as great gifts and were keen on stocking four different Bake and Craft kits during the Christmas season in their store. We’re really excited by this as we’ve also got the opportunity to have these in John Lewis and will be running a few decorating and crafting work shops in their stores in December.
Q: What challenges have you come across as your business has grown to be a national offering?
I won’t bore you with our long, long list of challenges but when a small business is scaling up fast at a time when kids are on summer holidays, it really is extremely tough! We used this as an opportunity for a rebrand and new logo but given that we were creating 4 brand new products too, we had a huge volume of work to get through in an extremely short space of time. But thankfully we have a WONDERFUL warehouse team who are on hand to help us every step of the way and even to spot potential pitfalls before we do.
It’s been far from smooth sailing when working to such tight time lines and budgets but when you actually log on to Ocado (and when we walk into our nearest John Lewis store) we know that every extra grey hair and wrinkle will have been worth it!
Q: What three things have you discovered about being a mother in business?
- That my juggling skills are actually extremely good
- That our kids are a great source of inspiration and full of good ideas
- That it’s ok if you do miss the odd dress up day, school shoes day or send them in with the wrong t-shirt – don’t beat yourself up about it!
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time when not working on the brand
Ah…what spare time is that? Being a mum means that spare time is filled with school runs, standing on sidelines watching sport and constantly filling the fridge. Therefore holidays are the only real opportunity to enjoy spare time – even if it does mean you have to pack your laptop – just in case!
> See a full step-by-step of Craft and Crumb’s new for 2021 The Christmas Wreath Bake & Craft Kit here.