Sunderland business receives backing of retail entrepreneur

Retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis with Andrew and Anne-Marie Calder, owners of Calders Kitchen.
Retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis with Andrew and Anne-Marie Calder, owners of Calders Kitchen.
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A Sunderland based food producer has received a business boost from former Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis.

Andrew and Anne-Marie Calder, owners of Calder’s Kitchen, tweeted retail entrepreneur Theo about their business during his ‘Small Business Sunday’ initiative.

As one of the lucky winners, they gained a re-tweet from him to his 500,000 Twitter followers.

The weekly initiative, set up in 2010, supports small businesses in the UK by giving them a platform to raise their profile and provides network opportunities.

The Tweet re-tweeted @TheoPaphitis, said: “We’re a growing family business making homemade traditional piccalilli with a twist, awarded Great Taste Award 2016#SBS”

The couple say they have said they have seen an increase in followers and orders as a result of the exposure.

Mr Calder said: “The business is going from strength to strength and in August last year it was announced that we had won a Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Award for our traditional homemade piccalilli which really opened the doors to retail.

“To now have the support of Theo has been the icing on the cake.”

He added: “As a small business, it’s tough trying to raise your profile and Theo has recognised our hard work and helped spread the word about what we do to his half a million followers.

“We’ve already had new orders as a result of our SBS award last week.”

The couple launched their business in 2015 selling piccalilli at local markets and food festivals before expanding to stock artisan shops and delis across the region.

As #SBS winners the pair now have access to the exclusive members’ selling platform www.shopsbs.co.uk where hundreds of winners are already selling thousands of products.

They are now also profiled on the #SBS website, www.theopaphitissbs.com.

Mr Paphitis, who is the chairman of firms including Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue, said: “My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club - like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings.”