Cheshire mum who quit 9 to 5 job to run sweet shop says 'I wouldn't change a thing'

There are treats for every budget - including £1 ice creams
-Credit:Liverpool ECHO

A Runcorn mum who swapped her 9 to 5 for a sweet shop says she "wouldn't change a thing" after turning a lockdown hobby into a thriving business.

Danielle Daley, who previously worked for a housing trust for ten years following university, has embraced the sweet life by opening her own confectionery store. The entrepreneurial mum-of-one was on maternity leave during the onset of the Covid lockdown when she noticed a trend of homemade pick and mix sweets being sold on Facebook, which inspired her to start Hey Sweetie.

The opportunity for Danielle's venture came when her husband Carl discovered available units at Bridgewater Craft and Garden Centre, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Speaking to the ECHO, Danielle recounted: "My husband got a job on the site where new units were being set up. I looked around, the rent is reasonable and the surroundings are lovely with the garden centre and the canal just outside.

"We started in the shop in August 2020 doing sweets, milkshakes and waffles. We now do personalised cupcakes which have been fun to branch out into."

Despite the initial challenge of juggling her full-time job, caring for a newborn, and launching Hey Sweetie, Danielle often found herself working every day of the week, sometimes until 10pm. Reflecting on those early days, she shared: "In the beginning, we were open till 10pm some nights and I'd come straight from work."

She added: "Looking back, I don't know how I did it. But, if I didn't do that, then I don't think I'd be where we are now with it."

"It's been hard work, a lot of sweat and tears, but it's been more than worth it. I wouldn't change a thing and I really can't see myself doing anything else now."

"It was January [2021] when they offered redundancies at work so it felt like it was all meant to be. I've managed to make it work so I can finally have a proper work-life balance."

Danielle, who confessed her fondness for a classic strawberry sweet, aims to provide "something for everyone" at one of the most vibrant stalls in the garden centre. She commented: "It's hard times and some people might have more than one kid coming in with them so it could really add up fast."

The shop is tucked away within the Bridgewater garden centre, off Halton Road
The shop is tucked away within the Bridgewater garden centre, off Halton Road

"That's why we try and accommodate all budgets - we offer Mr Whippy ice creams for £1 and have our £1.20 sweet cones as well. It's still a little treat that doesn't have to break the bank."

"I do try to bring in different things every and shake up what we offer. People do love the classics though."

Beyond the thriving garden centre, there is a bistro, florist, hairdressers and dog groomers. Danielle said: "People sometimes don't realise we are all here but it's always nice to see someone finding us for the first time."

She encouraged anyone wanting to start their own business to "just go for it". The mum-of-one added: "The thought of leaving my job did scare me, especially as a young family, but when the opportunity did come up I'd have been silly not to take it. I couldn't have asked for a nicer place or group of people around me though."

"I'd tell anyone thinking about their own business to just go for it, you're not going to know if you never try."

"The main thing for me is that I'm not missing out on time with my little girl as much. It's time that you don't get back. She loves to tell everyone that mummy has a sweet shop."

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