Fluffy Puff Puffs: Louisa Cefaz
Louisa Starling Cefaz
Fluffy Puff Puffs
Artisanal, gourmet marshmallows
Tell us what your business does:
Fluffy Puff Puffs creates artisanal, gourmet marshmallows using high quality ingredients, fruit purees and fresh juices. We take marshmallows to a creative, unexplored dimension.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Initially the idea was to sell hot chocolate on a market stall and I was trying to think of various accompaniments that would go with the hot drink. Marshmallows were perfect so I decided to stick with that theme and make them gourmet.
How did you know there was a market for it?
I did some research and discovered a company that was distributing marshmallow fluff throughout the UK; it was so popular they secured 340 new listings with major supermarkets.
That's when I knew I had the right idea.
What were you doing before starting up?
After university I struggled to find a good job, unemployed for over a year I ended up working part-time in retail. I had bigger aspirations for myself and had to get out of that environment.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
The dream was to become a medical pathologist but when I studied biology at university I realised that it just wasn't for me. I felt creatively restricted, unmotivated and in over my head.
Business was the only option to explore my ideas.
How did you raise the money?
My job helped pay for stock and the website etc. but at some point I will need more money for cash-flow so I intend to ask for investment from The Prince's Trust.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
I had to teach myself how to cook marshmallows which was a challenge because it contains sugar syrup. Making sugar syrup that doesn't crystallise is a science in itself which I found difficult. Once I got that everything else was easy.
How much do you charge?
One pack of marshmallows weighs between 200g - 400g depending on the toppings, it retails for £5.00 for a pack of six. It's actually really good value for money because the mallows are jumbo in size.
What was your first big breakthrough?
It's still early days yet but before I had promoted the site somebody found it and purchased two packs of the product. I had to refund the customer because I wasn't ready to sell. It was a great confidence booster.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Use as little money as possible as it forces you to be savvier. Do a financial plan before anything else, it'll tell you whether your idea will make money or not. Test-trade to see if your product has a market before you spend too much money and have fun!
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
The next stage is a store front then I want to franchise the business across the UK. I really believe gourmet marshmallows could be the next big thing. Fluffy Puff Puffs will be a household name.