Second pandemic aquisition for Yorkshire candle and soap makers

Nicky Story

Yorkshire-based Supplies for Candles LTD has invested £2.5m in the acquisition of Glassprint Ltd, stock of new products and the purchase of a 20,000 square foot warehouse in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, near to its headquarters – with the goal of creating an additional 30 jobs in the local area.

Established in 2016 by CEO, Nicky Story, 29, who started the business from his garage – Supplies for Candles, an online supplier of home fragrance ingredients, to the growing craft micro-business industry, is now a multi-million-pound business empire, including the acquisition of The Soap Kitchen and now Glassprint Ltd.

This is the second huge investment during the pandemic, for the young entrepreneur, following the purchase of £3.5 million business, The Soap Kitchen in Devon in 2020 – the continued growth and investments have firmly established Nicky’s company as the market leaders in the distribution of both home fragrance and personal care supplies in the UK and Europe.

Supplies for Candles have growing rapidly with a 180 per cent increase on last year’s figures, as they have more than doubled in size. Nicky’s businesses are predicted to turn over £20m this year, as they continue to serve over 100,000 customers and employ over 100 members of staff across two different locations in the UK – and with this investment they aim to create a further 30 jobs in Yorkshire.

Glassprint Ltd was established in 2002 printing on glass products such as; candle glasses, perfume bottles and beer bottles – with customers such as Ted Baker and the White Company, they currently have a turnover of £1m per year and ten staff members.

Supplies for Candles and The Soap Kitchen are b2b businesses that sit behind the success of thousands of others, as the go-to online suppliers of home fragrance and personal care ingredients for a growing craft microbusiness industry. The company plans to introduce a vast range of home décor items including; candle containers, wax melters, candleholders and much more.

Supplies for Candles CEO Nicky Story said: “This is another exciting development for us as a company as we rapidly grow. I am looking forward to what this new chapter will bring. Glassprint Ltd is a great fit for us, as we can now offer our customers glass printing and a personalisation service on products.

“We will also utilise the extra storage space at both Mexborough sites as we continue to grow our new home décor range. This new purchase and expansion will also create around 30 warehouse jobs in Yorkshire, as well as senior level positions as we plan to solidify our team with the best talent in the area.” 

The opportunity was presented to specialist alternative finance provider to mid-sized SMEs, ThinCats by Sentio Partners, independent corporate finance firm based in Leeds.

Andrew Barlow, director at Sentio Partners, said: “Against a backdrop of continued uncertainty, it’s been great to have supported Nick and his team in their latest strategic move. Supplies For Candles continues to expand and grow at pace, and in ThinCats they have a supportive funder who shares ambitions for the next phase of growth.”

Ben Kimball, director, Regional Business Development, ThinCats:“The comprehensive development strategy behind Supplies for Candles is clearly demonstrated by this second targeted acquisition. Working with the management team as well as the team at Sentio once again has been very rewarding, and we are excited to see where the business goes next.”  – ThinCats was advised by Clarion Solicitors.

 Legal advice to Supplies for Candles was provided by a team from Lupton Fawcett LLP. Corporate associate Sarah Webster said: “This is the second acquisition we have helped Nick to complete since the first lockdown, which shows a clarity of plan and appetite for growth.  It’s great to be working with such a dynamic and well run business that still has lots of plans for further expansion.”

Nicky Story added: “I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved over the past year – the business has grown at an amazing rate, but for me the biggest reward is the impact we are having on communities in terms of employment and supplying small business with the supplies they need to easily set up businesses at home during these unprecedented times.”

The b2b businesses have helped thousands of others become successful entrepreneurs including; Ava May Aromas loved by many celebs including cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch.

Additionally, at the beginning of the pandemic, Nicky also gave away £100,000-worth of candle making kits and business start-up packs to support those who had been financially affected by the pandemic – and as a result, over 2,000 people went on to set up new businesses who Nicky’s team continue to support on a regular basis.

Nicky said: “We have seen an increase in people visiting our website who have set up candle and wax melt businesses from home and selling online during the pandemic, allowing them to flexibly work around family commitments and bring in an additional income.”

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