Until now, Shropshire has been hiding a big name in the baking world. Truly (UK) Ltd stocks the biggest selection of sprinkles and inclusions in the country, all from their base in the south of the county.
Truly exports their products to 28 countries worldwide, as well as supplying most of the businesses that sell sprinkles here in the UK.
The business encompasses three sprinkle brands – the Twist Ingredients range for wholesale customers, the Scrumptious retail range, and a trademarked brand of mixed sprinkle blends - Sprinkletti.
Louise Gough and Niki Thompson are the hard-working sisters behind the successful brands. They have proved you can mix family with business, having built up Truly in to an internationally respected business.
Truly stocks over 1000 varieties of sprinkles and inclusions in every colour, shape, and combination imaginable. As well as a huge sprinkle and inclusion selection, they also stock toppers, lustres, glitter, cupcake cases, muffin tulips and packaging. Their pack sizes range from 700g to 25kg, so whether you are a home baker or a commercial bakery, they will have the sprinkle solution for you.
The business had humble beginnings. At the time Niki was working as a Director for a housing group and Louise ran a bakery and a catering business with her husband. It was at a trade show that Louise had her light bulb moment.
She said, “Truly was born out of my utter frustration at the limited choice and quantities on offer. I knew I couldn’t be the only baker to want to buy more than 50g of jelly diamonds from the supermarket or need less than a 300kg bulk order from a distributor. This was at a time when there was hardly any sprinkle varieties in the supermarket – not even a mini marshmallow in sight! My instinct was that I couldn’t be the only person feeling limited by what was available, and surely there was a way to give bakers more variety and more choice of quantities.” After discussions with Niki, she saw the opportunity too.
They started out with two shelves of sprinkles in the storeroom of their family bakery in 2010, Louise and Niki ran their new business around their full-time jobs and families, working evenings and any spare moment to get it off the ground.
Demand for their products meant it wasn’t long before they had outgrown the bakery, left their jobs, and moved into a small industrial unit in Ludlow. In 2018 they moved again into their current home near Ludlow, where they rapidly grew - extensively increasing their range. In 2022 they will be expanding again into new buildings in Ludlow, with 10,000 sq. ft. of space to fill with sprinkles, and 15 members of staff and growing.
Louise said, “We’ve been building to this point for some time so this is a really exciting moment for the business. This move will give us the opportunity to carry more stock, which is hugely important for our successful wholesale business - Twist Ingredients. We will be increasing our range and our general stock holding. This in turn will improve our production processes, provide us with more flexibility and pass on an even better service to our customers.”
Truly exports to 28 countries from France to Australia, and everywhere in between, including Hong Kong, Uganda, and Saudi Arabia. You can even find their sprinkles in Waitrose in the Middle East. They are the UK distributer for some of Europe’s most respected manufacturers – Hatziyiannakis, Sidilco and Zucceroo.
Famous bakers and influencers often use their products, including television cook and baker Juliet Sear, TV chef Rosemary Shrager and the highly popular vlogger, Zoella. Many of the sprinkles you see in shops such as Lakeland and Hobbycraft have been repacked from Truly’s ranges. Recently Ocado began selling 12 lines from the Scrumptious retail range.
Their products are featured in every baking magazine, even stealing the cover of the Christmas issue of BBC Good Food magazine in 2020 and 2021. Yet Louise and Niki are modest about their high profile popularity. Niki said, “We often shy away from shouting about where our products have been used because we’ve never needed to. We have found a way of fulfilling a gap in the market, and the products speak for themselves.
“Our aim has always been to make the widest selection of quality sprinkles available to the largest audience, in a range of sizes to suit everyone from pot to pallet - including home bakers, independent stores, high street shops, commercial bakeries, and industrial manufacturers. With our upcoming move, the sky is the limit on what we can do!"
There was good news for the business earlier this year when they received SALSA accreditation – the robust food safety certification scheme that sets an industry wide standard. “We are proud to have earned this approval that shows our processes are of the highest quality. In addition, all of our European suppliers have either BRC or IFS accreditation as well,” said Louise.
Niki pinpoints one of their business highlights, revealing it was at their first trade show at Earl’s Court. “We had this small 3x3m stand and went in not really knowing what to expect. The reaction to our products was unbelievable – there was a rugby scrum of people around our table, wrestling over the products. We were stunned! It was an attestation of the hard work and decisions we had made to get to that point. Plus we met Mary Berry – it doesn’t get better than that!”
The future of Truly looks brighter than the colourful sprinkles they sell. In 2022 they aim to achieve their FDA approval, which will mean they can sell in to the USA. They also plan to expand their European sales.
They are about to launch Twist Mix – a bespoke sprinkle mixing service. This will be a game changer for sprinkle sellers who can create their own tailor-made sprinkle mix without needing to manufacture it themselves – another gap in the market that Louise and Niki have successfully pinpointed using their extensive experience in the sector.
To learn more about Truly visit www.truly.uk.net.