Established in 2008 with three staff, Rainbow Dust Colours – a specialist provider of edible glitter, food paints, pens and brushes for cake-making – was an innovative, niche business in the buoyant food sector. But sometimes a business can almost grow too fast.
An accidental business
It’s a great problem to have. You’re running a fast-growing business with a clear niche, the best products on the market, and excellent margins. But suddenly, the scale of the business overtakes you, and what started as a great idea has transformed into a commercial powerhouse. This is what happened to Carol and Gary Brown, who sold their Preston-based food products business Rainbow Dust Colours to a stock market listed plc for £7.5m.
“Rainbow Dust Colours was actually a bit of an accidental business,” Carol and Gary explain. “We owned and operated a cake shop for over 30 years and over that time learned the trade and gained vast product knowledge of the sugarcraft market.”
This long-term sector experience gave them the insight to branch out.
“We saw a gap in the market to manufacture and supply our own range of quality edible glitters and associated products, knowing if we didn’t do it, someone else would. We literally started with a load of little pots and 70 colours of glitter in a small room at the cake shop. It grew rapidly; we moved to bigger premises and started to employ people. We wouldn’t call ourselves entrepreneurs, but we loved developing the products and growing the business.”
This is a common refrain among business owners. They love the excitement of innovation and the thrill of creating something new. But there often comes a point where they need to make tough strategic decisions about the future direction of the business.