Social entrepreneur launches her own confectionery business

A Holywood social entrepreneur has launched her own confectionery business - and is giving 10% of profits to charity.

Francesca Fennel develops the Joob Joobs is a ‘sweet shop experience’
Francesca Fennel develops the Joob Joobs is a ‘sweet shop experience’

The brainchild of Francesca Fennell, Joob Joobs is a ‘sweet shop experience’ catering for every type of sweet tooth including those who are vegan and prefer gluten free.

From the outset the 28-year-old wanted her business to mean something, and so she is helping the Tens Foundation on the Lisburn Road which supports vulnerable children, families and communities in the Philippines through the sale of their schoolbags.

Francesca explained: “The name Joob Joobs is a play off the old fashioned word ‘Jujubes’ which means sweets origin is Scottish. We hadn’t intended to launch the business online first, but when the pandemic hit we decided to hold off on our premises in the city centre as it wasn’t the right time. We do still intend to go to the high street early next year.

“I was looking at a Maud’s and Nugelato type business and I knew they were very popular but I also didn’t want to have an ice-cream business and I found myself looking towards creating something really new and fresh and something to suit all budgets.

“I also wanted to create a store that people could go in to every week or even every day and that’s where it all came from.

“The product selection we offer is so different, these products have never sat beside each other on the high street or even online so I wanted to really have something different that would appeal to everyone.

“I am the only independent sweet shop within the UK online. I have researched this quite a bit and there is no other online platform that has recreated the sweet shop experience. I work directly with independent confectionery makers across the world - from UK , Sweden , Denmark , USA so far.”

Joob Joobs makes its own unique products including chocolate bars, lollies, sweet tubs which Francesca hopes increases in the new year.

“I recreated the sweet shop experience for the modern day meaning we don’t sell any sweets you typically see in sweet shops like Mars, Nestle, boiled sweets or stock anything you see in supermarkets.

“Joob Joobs is about reflecting present day sweet habits which is why we stock 25% of products being vegan as well as gluten free products, organic sweets and low sugar ranges.

“This is great as it allows consumers to purchase things for loved ones with very different tastes to themselves. We cater for everyone under the one roof, we have vegan, gluten free, organic products and we also have our very own line of chocolate bars and tubs which are handmade in Cornwall.”

Joob Joobs’s new sweet products are not stocked anywhere within Northern Ireland.

Francesca added: “You won’t find them if you walk into Tesco or Centra so we’ve got some very unique gifting options for Christmas, which we know is the time of year everyone loves a sweet treat.

“Our goal is to sit within towns and communities that perhaps have very similar shopping experiences and add fresh take on confectionery. We have over 100 product lines and will grow in coming months We will open retail in Belfast in the New Year.

“We have an influencer program application form from website where anyone can sign up who likes social media and we could be in contact to give customers free sweets to try.”

You can view Joob Joobs full range of products including their limited edition Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve boxes at https://joobjoobs.com

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