Jesmond business and students work together

Four members of the Little Hamper Company with sweets from Karin's Kandy

Local community spirit has been in evidence as Jesmond sweet shop Karin’s Kandy and Newcastle University business students have joined forces.

Students Chris Barnes, Chris Howland, Matt Dawson, Clara Stjernsward and Faye Dennison created the Little Hamper Company as part of a business project for their Business Enterprise module. The module involves students building their own business and running it for a year. The Little Hamper Company’s objective: to raise awareness of quality produce available in the north east region.

The group’s first challenge was to contact local businesses, one of which was Karin’s Kandy. Chris Barnes first heard about Karin’s Kandy through JesmondLocal and thought the shop was a good fit for the group’s business project.

The Little Hamper Company came to an agreement with the owner of Karin’s Kandy, Karin Weir, which allows the company to purchase Weir’s candy at a small discount. The company then sells the candy outside of her shop, at the same price as Weir sells her sweets in store, in order to make a profit.

Both parties have benefited from the arrangement. Weir told JesmondLocal: “They got a profit to cover some of their expenses and so did we keeping the price the same as in the shop.”

Another of the business’ goals is to encourage customers who buy from the Little Hamper Company to visit the supplier, Karin’s Kandy, with the hope of expanding the shop’s clientele.

The company has sold Karin’s Kandy sweets at the Metro Centre and in and around the Newcastle University campus.

Commenting on the group’s collaboration with local businesses, Barnes, chief executive of the Little Hamper Company, says: “The quality of the produce speaks for itself so the only challenge has been raising awareness of the products and helping the businesses to make a bit more money whilst providing us with some great business experience which will help us in our future careers.”

The company’s efforts have resulted in two awards for the business students. Last month they received the award for Best Young Enterprise Start Up Company for their work in the Metro Centre. The company was also presented with the Best Business Pitch award in a competition for all Newcastle University Business Enterprise teams.

When asked if the students and Karin’s Kandy had seen results for Weir’s shop, Weir said: “We have had some more people come in to see us, but what they found out from quite a few people that they preferred to come into the shop themselves as they liked the atmosphere here.”

The students plan to continue working with Karin’s Kandy in the future. The company will be creating a “survival kit” for Newcastle University “freshers” in September that will include, amongst other produce, sweets from Karin’s Kandy.

The Little Hamper Company has also worked with Northumberland Cheese Farm and Pride of Northumbria.

To contact the company, please visit

One thought on “Jesmond business and students work together”

  1. Nath says:

    Argh I need to get myself down to this sweet shop! >>sweet fiend<<

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