A Fylde Coast businesswoman whose medical condition led her to create her own range of bakery products is celebrating opening her new business in St Annes and speaking at the Growth 4 Business event in Blackpool on Tuesday..
Susan Craddock’s coeliac condition inspired her to create the Wow (without wheat) Cake Company.
The family business makes a flexible and tasty all-purpose flour as well as sponge, carrot cake and chocolate brownie mixes. All the products wheat free, gluten free, nut free and dairy free.
The auto-immune disease which inspired the range and which affects Susan and her mother requires a strict gluten and wheat-free diet.
Susan found many existing products lacked taste or were dry and crumbly, so she spent 12 months funding and developing an alternative, buying her own manufacturing equipment and testing and blending to find the perfect mix, so that coeliacs could enjoy the same quality and tastiness of baked goods as everyone else.
And with a growing number of consumers becoming more conscious of their diet, Susan is tapping into a growing trend.
Throughout the development period, Susan worked with Donna Taylor, High Growth Business Advisor for Blackpool Council’s G4B service. Susan first met Donna at the Blackpool Growth 4 Business Conference in 2018.
Susan said: “Donna’s support has been invaluable. Every course of action she has recommended has been the right one. She has many suggestions, advice and contacts and we trust her.
“Working on your own can be lonely and you can get disheartened, but Donna has always been there to reignite our enthusiasm and build our confidence.”
Donna said: “I grew up as part of a family business, so when I see a family business now it completely resonates with me.
“Susan doesn’t have a manufacturing background but she knows her subject matter inside out. That, together with her tenacity in finding just the right blend for her products, has made her flours and mixes real favourites with her customers.”
Now manufacturing at premises in St Annes, Susan is looking to expand the range with a gingerbread mix inspired by her grandchildren.
Susan will bring her story to this year’s Blackpool Growth 4 Business Conference at the Winter Gardens.
The G4B event at the Winter Gardens, on November 26, is aimed at small businesses in the town that are looking to move on to the next step of growth.
The day-long event was due to start with a talk about the overall economic vision for Blackpool.
First of the speakers was to be James Wilson, managing director of enterprise zone-based Private talking about “How Hard Can it Be?” Susan Craddock owner of WOW Cakes was due to speak at 10.25.
A talk on the “The Funding Landscape” was due next followed by “Back her Business Blackpool” by Cinzia Vaselli, from NatWest. “Grants for a Greener Future” by Mark Nelson, business engagement manager at the MaCaW Project; “Innovator International” by Richard Harrison, from Innovator UK and “Research and Development Claim your Funding” by Richard Harrison, director at Geminus, were to end the morning session.
Sara Gaskell from Lancashire Skills Hub was to introduce several sessions on skills, apprenticeships and training in the afternoon.
This was to be followed by a Q&A session and finally a Taster Session of a Leadership and Management Workshop for Businesses.