Tasty brownie company scoops top prize at Business Den final

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Isn’t there something so exciting about a parcel waiting at home for you?

Well, now things are about to get a whole load sweeter, thanks to Letterbox Brownies – this year’s winner of the Harrow Business Den competition.

Organised by Harrow Council, the final took place on 13 March and saw four finalists go head-to-head in the fight to win a package of business support and much-needed cash. Teresa Faley, owner of Letterbox Brownies, scooped the top prize with her personalised tasty gifts that can be sent all around the UK.

Speaking about her win, Teresa said:

“It feels fantastic to be the 2019 Harrow Business Den winner. I’m still on a high from last week. It was such a great night and, although the pitch was nerve-racking, it was really enjoyable. I’m so glad I applied to the competition. Everyone’s feedback on the idea has been so positive and I’m really looking forward to the year’s worth of business support that I have won - I know it’s going to make such a huge difference to my business.”

It’s fair to say that Teresa has always had a sweet tooth, from weekends spent baking with her mum as a child - learning the perfect the sponge cake recipe - to making birthday cakes for friends and family as she got older. The idea then came to turn something she loves into a career.

In 2015, Teresa set up her cake business, Faleycakes, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the idea for Letterbox Brownies occurred. Not knowing how to make it a reality – or if it was even a good idea! - she decided to pitch it to her networking group, BNI. Having got a brilliant response - and the baking skills already in the bag! - she then got the encouragement she needed to start developing the business. Her next step was to figure out the logistics and packaging. There was a lot of trial and error but, through regular testing, she made sure her brownies were the perfect fit through the average size letterbox. Wanting to create a strong brand, it then came down to the logo and website. This, she left in the hands of design experts. Before she knew, it was up and running and she could start taking orders. As well as taking individual sales, she also created an option for businesses to buy in bulk as gifts to send to clients. This currently accounts for 80% of her sales.

Leader of the Council Cllr Graham Henson, who opened the event, said:

“If it’s true that food is the best way to the heart, then Teresa has done a great job with her delicious brownies! Although she is in the early stages with her business, she has something truly special - and, most importantly, has the passion and drive to take it forward.

“In Harrow we are no stranger to these entrepreneurs - we have a borough full of successful small businesses and one day I really do hope to see our very own Apple or Google come out of Harrow! Until then, the Council will be here, supporting them all on their journey to success. It’s what we do best.” 

Bringing together the local business community, the Harrow Business Den event was also a night for networking, sharing ideas and tips. As well as making new business connections, there were dozens of exhibitors offering expert advice. This year’s event featured special guest and Harrow entrepreneur Shalini Gupta Patel. As founder of Red Dot Jewels, a UK brand specialising in handcrafted Indian-inspired fine jewellery, she gave an insight into her success.

The runner-up was iParcelBox, which makes secure and weatherproof smart parcel delivery boxes. The other two finalists were MAD Naturally - a handmade vegan and cruelty-free cosmetic range -and educ8all Ltd – a virtual platform with access to courses for primary, secondary and college students.

This year’s competition was sponsored and supported by Equita, GFL, Sopra Steria, APH Events, Virgin StartUp, London Business Partnership and Anita Gohil Thorp.