Fa­ther and son’s sweet re­turn on their in­vest­ment

Glamorgan Gazette - - News - ABBY BOLTER abby.bolter@waleson­line.co.uk

A FA­THER and son who sank ev­ery penny they had into start­ing their first dessert bar are set to open an­other just four months later af­ter its “un­ex­pected suc­cess”.

Adam and An­drew Preddy said they ran out of money and re­sorted to look­ing down the back of the sofa for spare change af­ter plough­ing £15,000 into the ven­ture, which was a first for Brid­gend.

They as­sumed Frankie’s would “tick over” and be “a hobby”.

But four months and 16,000 milk­shakes later the Nolton Street busi­ness, which also sells ice­cream, crepes, waf­fles and cookie dough desserts, em­ploys 10 peo­ple.

Adam said an an­nounce­ment on a sec­ond branch in the area is im­mi­nent.

“It’s mad, it’s bizarre,” said Adam, 24, who is from Brid­gend.

“I in­vested about £15,000 in this. It was scary. Be­fore the open­ing we had run out of money. We lit­er­ally had zero pen­nies and had used up our over­drafts and maxed out credit cards.”

“If it didn’t work it would have been a dif­fer­ent story.”

Adam said they took on the premises with the in­ten­tion of us­ing it as of­fices for his cleaning busi- ness and his dad’s handy­man ser­vice.

But once they had the keys he thought the shop space would be wasted as of­fices and his fi­ancée sug­gested a dessert bar.

At the time Brid­gend did not have one and their ex­pe­ri­ence lay else­where.

The clos­est they had come was serv­ing pick and mix on a sweet stall in Brid­gend Mar­ket, which Adam’s nan Mar­ion had for seven years be­fore it closed in Jan­uary due to lack of trade in the mar­ket.

They spent eight weeks trans­form­ing the shop and, ex­pect­ing busi­ness to be slow at first, opened up with just one blender to make milk­shakes.

But they were quickly forced to buy more to keep up with de­mand and the coun­ters on the ma­chines now show they’ve made 16,000 milk­shakes.

And, as one of their best sellers, the shakes also mean the shop goes through 60 tubs of vanilla ice cream on a nor­mal day – al­though that can tre­ble on a hot day.

They also ex­panded their menu fol­low­ing cus­tomer sug­ges­tions and now sell 225 por­tions of cookie dough ev­ery week.

“Be­fore the last bank hol­i­day week­end I bought 1,000 large cups and they were gone by the Mon­day,” said Adam.

The shop’s suc­cess has been such that other Nolton Street traders have re­ported a rise in foot­fall, even dur­ing the sum­mer hol­i­days when Brid­gend Col­lege and the lo­cal schools are closed.

Adam said peo­ple have also of­fered to buy the busi­ness off him but he wants to keep it in the fam­ily. The town now boasts an­other dessert bar and ma­jor chain Kaspa’s is also due to open in Brackla Street.

Adam said it’s all ev­i­dence that the town, which has suf­fered years of de­clin­ing foot­fall and store clo­sures, is on the up.

“Peo­ple might think I would be wor­ried about Kaspa’s but it’s amaz­ing that peo­ple want to in­vest here when they say Brid­gend is not do­ing so well,” he said.

“We’ve even had cus­tomers travel here from Llantwit Ma­jor, which is nine miles away, and ask­ing if we de­liver to Neath, 21 miles away.”

Fa­ther-and-son team An­drew, left, and Adam Preddy opened Brid­gend’s first dessert bar

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