Couple delayed their wedding TWICE to launch their milkshake business

Couple delayed their wedding TWICE to launch their milkshake business

RATHER than rushing down the aisle, a young couple decided to put their wedding on hold twice to launch their own milkshake brand – and now it’s set to turn over £6million this year.
Instead of pouring their money into flowers and decorations, Jodie Farran, 37, and Andrew Howie, 40, spent their £15,000 wedding fund on labelling and packaging machines to take their company – Shaken Udder – to the next level.
East News Press Agency Jodie Farran, 37, and Andrew Howie, 40, met at university and launched their own healthy milkshake brand
Now their sacrifice is finally paying off with their healthy milkshakes available in supermarkets all over the UK including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Co-op as well as in WHSmith and Boots.
The couple, from Tiptree in Essex, met while studying agriculture at Writtle University College and shared a love for food and farming.
They got engaged in 2007 but instead of getting married they spent the summer selling milkshakes out of a trailer at festivals, including Glastonbury, Reading and Bestival.
They then wanted to expand their business but it was hard to find a local dairy producer to collaborate with, instead they decided to build their own dairy and bottling plant on their family farm in Essex.
More than 10 years since they went on shelves, Shaken Udder’s sales have grown consistently year-on-year and the company is now aiming for a £6million turnover
Jodie said: “We delayed our wedding again and diverted the rest of our wedding fund into packaging and labelling machines.
“My mother definitely thought we would never get married but we needed to prioritise.
“Our business was something we both felt strongly about. It was more important than having a fancy day out. In a way, to me it also felt like a stronger commitment.”
In addition to their £15,000 wedding fund, the couple also took out a £90,000 loan short hire purchase loan at Clydesdale Bank to pay for additional equipment.
Jodie and Andrew’s tips on how to make your business a successTHE couple launched their milkshake brand in 2004 and it’s now on track to make £6million. Here are their tips on how to build a successful business

Know your numbers and your cash flow – Keep track of your numbers and your accounts. With any business idea take the time to estimate how much it will cost you as accurately as possible early on.
Get yourself a mentor – Sometimes it can be scary to take your business to the next level, we paired up with actionCOACH, a firm of experienced business coaches and they really helped us. Getting that exterior perspective on what we were doing was essential.
Work hard – There’s no other way to make it work. Be prepared to put in the long hours. Sometimes it can be a seven day job, but it’s all worth it in the end.
Maintain a work-life balance- Making a successful business is about creating something that can ideally work without you being there all the time. You need to learn to let go from time to time. Make sure you take some time-off and spend it with your family and friends, it will make you a better manager.

Jodie said: “Everyone thought we were mad. It was 2008, we were right in the middle of a recession and we were buying a factory. It was scary but we really believed in our product.
“The growth stage was the most painful one. We were doing very long hours, seven days a week, it was nerve-racking.”
From festivals to stocking shakes in shops
The business took off with the launch of Shaken Udder on the shelves of Harvey Nichols in 2008, after the retailer’s buyer tasted their milkshakes at a festival. Waitrose followed the same year.
Now the healthy shakes also available in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Boots, WHSmith, easyJet and Ocado, as well as luxury stores like Fortnum & Mason and Harrods.
Jodie, who eventually tied the knot with Andrew in 2011, said: “We’ve been very lucky. Once, we had a few listings we finally took time to organise our wedding.
“It was pure coincidence, but we got married on the same day as Prince William and Kate Middleton. The 29 April 2011 down in Dorset. We were terrified prices would go up because it was also the Royal Wedding day but it didn’t affect anything. After being engaged for so long, it felt very rewarding.”
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From a team of two, Shaken Udder now employs 12 full-time staff and up 30 seasonal workers in the summer. It’s also on track to see a 70 per cent sales increase in 2019 and is now aiming for a 6 million turnover.”We found a gap in the market thanks to my milk addiction”
Jodie drinks about four pints of milk a day and said her addiction to dairy is what inspired the pair to launch their own healthy milkshake firm.
The now mum to one-year old Elsie, said: “My dad always had his own business and Andy’s father too, we both come from a farming background, so it was a natural way to progress for us.
East News Press Agency The inspiration for Shaken Udder came partly from Jodie’s addiction to milk with the mum drinking four pints of the stuff every day
“I’m addicted to milk, but I couldn’t get a good milkshake when I was away at festivals or events during summer.
“The choice was poor and the food was bland and greasy. Both Andrew and I felt bad about eating it.”
The pair looked at the competition and realised there was a gap in the market for a healthy milkshake brand.
Andrew and Jodie now produce six different flavours including salted caramel (made with Maldon sea salt), vanilla, coffee, strawberry, chocolate and banana. Prices vary from £1.35 for a 330mL bottle to £2.10 for a 750mL one.

So what’s it like to work together as husband and wife? According to Jodie, the couple has a different skill set and make a good team.
She said: “We have different skills, so we manage to balance each other out and we always listen to each other, which is important.““Having my own business allows me to spend more time with my baby”
Now, with a new member in the Shaken Udder family, Jodie is juggling her two babies – a successful milkshake brand and new baby Elsie.
She said: “Of course, now that Elsie is here my role changed a bit. Andie and I made sure we had a strong team structure and delegated some of my tasks. But having my own business allows me to spend more time with her.”
East News Press Agency Andrew and Jodie now produce six different flavours of milkshakes including salted caramel, vanilla, coffee, strawberry, chocolate and banana
“I work whenever she sleeps. And when it’s a little quieter in the evening I can focus on things I’ve not managed to finish during the day. It’s about establishing some kind of routine, even if with Elise it changes very quickly.
Keen to start your own business? Last week we revealed how a new mum turned her Instagram account into £250,000 business.
The Sun Online also spoke to a dad-of-two who quit his banking job to set up a children’s hairdressers and now it makes £650k a year.
And we told the story of how a 26-year-old entrepreneur who grew up on a council estate started a ticket company now worth £22million.
The easy peasy kid’s guide to small business cash flow from Xero

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