2019 was an awesome year and is going to take some beating! We doubled our independent stockist base to over 60 stockists around the UK, including new butchers, farmshops and deli’s.
The labelling on our range of gift tubes were improved towards the start of 2019 with the introduction of our new Gin Botanicals Infusion Tube, Make Your Own Bacon At Home Gift Tube and American Roadtrip BBQ Rub Tube in February 2019. This set us in good stead for the year ahead. Our gift tubes were picked up by one of the UK’s largest distributors early in the year to feature in their Christmas catalogue. In an interview with Specialty Food Magazine they said “This year we have added The Smokey Carter, which I’d say are proving to be the most popular new brand for Christmas 2019. Their Cheese Lovers gift tube contains three chutneys which are deliciously different, and the packaging contains minimal plastic and is a great gift”. Extremely popular they were, with over 3000 (6 Pallets) of our gift tubes on order for an estimated further 60 plus stores across the UK.
Mr Smokey was also shortlisted as ‘Small Business Entrepreneur of The Year 2019’ at the Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards towards the end of the year. Becoming a finalist for Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year is amazing. We beat off some stiff competition and it’s a great feeling to be one of the eight finalists in our category, just over six years after starting The Smokey Carter.
The Year Ahead
2020 kicked off with our busiest ever January. Three of our gift tubes were also shortlisted out of fourteen products for Gift Of The Year 2020 including, Gin Botanicals Infusion Tube, Around The World Spice Rub Tube and our American Roadtrip BBQ Rub Tube. As we gear up for the year ahead focus is already on Christmas, with submissions into a number of Christmas catalogues.
In February 2020 The Smokey Carter was shorlisted as a finalist for Self Employed/Sole trader of the Year 2020 in the North West. The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards recognise and celebrate the huge contribution that smaller businesses and the self-employed make to the UK. Watch this space for the finals!
As we move into Spring we may just have some new products in the pipeline too! So watch this space!