The Sweet Smell, Taste and Sound of Success (Local Business)

Sweet Sol - Sweet Smell

As soon as you walk through the doors of Herne Bay’s newest sweet shop, Sweet Sol, you know you are in a magical place unlike any other you have ever been. With this visually stunning audio confectionery shop, owners Kris Searle and Chris Welsh have masterminded an inspirational and uplifting business concept that has captured the hearts of the local community since it launched 5 months ago.

Customers seeking the perfect personalised gift, first design their own greeting card and then pop into the recording room to create a 20 second audio message to accompany it. Next they choose from a huge selection of delicious sweets and from 5 fun sweet tins to complete the experience. This is then packaged in a delightfully branded gift bag, complete with a balloon.

Raised in Herne Bay, Kris is a successful singer and musician, well known and well liked in the local community and already an accomplished local entrepreneur since the launch of his other business the Music Studio on the Pier. His partner Chris was living in Canterbury but has since moved to Herne Bay to be closer to Sweet Sol as the pair are aware that you reap what you sow and want to make sure they are giving their all to the business.

In addition to Sweet Sol being a great concept, their likeability factor has translated well into the business. It is evident in the great customer service and fun atmosphere; the thoughtfulness of their products such as sugar and gluten free options; interesting additional services like workshops and in store nutrition advice; and their consistently inventive social media marketing campaigns. The next step for Kris and Chris is to secure further funding so they can expand their marketing strategy and for example advertise in cinemas and on the radio and so they can grow the business to include a delivery service.

The pair say that the most rewarding thing about running Sweet Sol is “The happiness of our customers. We love seeing the creative process each person goes through and how much it means to the people that receive the Sweet Sol gift.” Most their customers come from Herne Bay and return again and again, either to buy gifts, or just to pop in and buy their favourite sweets as a treat for themselves and their families. Around 25% come from further afield, either from Kent or as holiday-makers to Herne Bay.

Sweet Sol also delights customers with plenty of seasonal and early bird offers. We really like the regular Manager’s pick to encourage people to try sweets they wouldn’t usually go for. Most holidays see the shop offering a generous 10% discount on all stock. The offer that the 2 entrepreneurs love the most is their “Mega Sour Challenge” where customers are invited to try to hold a sour sweet in their mouth for more than 20 seconds to win a chocolate bar. From time to time they also do an early bird offer where customers who pop in before 11am get 10% discount.

Follow them on Twitter: @sweetsweetsol and on Facebook: @sweetsolshop

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