Sweet success story marked with award

Melissa Burton, founder of confectionary company Goody Good Stuff, displays a selection of products at the company headquarters in Heysham, Lancashire, after being named as Small Business of the Year in the Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2013.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday September 4, 2013. The company, which beat off hundreds of other small businesses to win the title and prize of �2,000 and 50,000 Nectar points, produces a range of gummy sweets that are vegetarian, fat-free, meat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, Halal and Kosher certified. Photo: Bob Collier/PA Wire
Melissa Burton, founder of confectionary company Goody Good Stuff, displays a selection of products at the company headquarters in Heysham, Lancashire, after being named as Small Business of the Year in the Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2013. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday September 4, 2013. The company, which beat off hundreds of other small businesses to win the title and prize of �2,000 and 50,000 Nectar points, produces a range of gummy sweets that are vegetarian, fat-free, meat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, Halal and Kosher certified. Photo: Bob Collier/PA Wire

A ‘confectionary queen’ whose expanding enterprise specialises in niche sweets says she is ‘flabbergasted’ to have won a prestigious award.

Former Lancaster University student Melissa Burton is celebrating after her Heysham-based firm Goody Good Stuff was named Small Business of the Year 2013.

Melissa, the business’ managing director, was presented with the accolade at the Nectar Business Small Business Awards by judge Karren Brady from TV’s The Apprentice.

The three-year-old company manufactures ‘vegetarian sweets’ using natural, meat-free alternative gelatin, taking advantage of food technology which has taken 15 years to develop. It is believed to be the world’s first natural sweet manufacturer and beat hundreds of other small businesses to the £2,000 prize and 50,000 Nectar points.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we won,” said Melissa, 33, who employs four people. “It’s amazing to get that recognition for myself and my team.

“I hope we stood out because Goody Good Stuff offers something very unique. We use a gel that comes from plants, so people like vegetarians can enjoy sweet products. It’s all totally natural and it doesn’t really have a parallel in the market.”

Judges said the company won because of its ‘excellent all-roundedness’, having expanded across 27 export markets including Australia, Europe, the Middle East and America.The company’s growth has seen it sell confectionary to 20,000 outlets.