From education to employment

Sixth Form students arrange their future

Ashleigh Jackson and Brandon Ashton

Barnsley College (@barnsleycollege) Sixth Form students, Ashleigh Jackson and Brandon Ashton, have turned their gap-in-the-market vision into a fully-fledged business as they launch their very own chocolate bouquet enterprise, Door to Door Treats.

Ashleigh and Brandon’s journey began when online shopping for a chocolate bouquet. They were shocked at the high prices and restrictions on personalisation so decided they would make their own for family and friends. Once pleasantly surprised at how they turned out the pair decided to sell them to the public. 

They launched the business in September 2019 and in just the first few months, Ashleigh and Brandon had 60 orders and over 1,000 followers on social media. 

The duo’s goals have been achievable with the help and support of iTrust, Barnsley College’s Enterprise initiative. iTrust is a joint venture between the College, the Barnsley Chronicle and The Business Village, which supports students interested in starting up a business in Barnsley. Students who choose to receive support from iTrust, will have access to an array of information and guidance such as mentoring from industry specialists and local businesses and financial investments. Ashleigh and Brandon are in the process of receiving a grant totalling £250 from iTrust which will go towards creating a membership with a wholesaler, out-sourcing marketing and improving packaging.

Ashleigh, A Level Business, Economics and Extended Project Qualification student, said:

“During lockdown we have spent more time advertising our business by making our Instagram account and hosting raffles and competitions for our followers. We have also had time to brainstorm our product range and have come up with new concepts from treat boxes and pet boxes to seasonal advent calendars.

“So far we have both had an amazing experience with the Enterprise team – everyone is so supportive and have enabled us to get things moving quickly. Through the programme we have also been able to access marketing advice and financial support. We recommend the programme highly; we feel so much more optimistic about our business’ future and have already gained so many opportunities since getting involved.”

Jess Widdowson, Enterprise Team Leader at Barnsley College, added:

“The iTrust programme works hard to transform the lives of students, staff and communities and Door-to-Door Treats is one of its fantastic businesses. Ashleigh and Brandon have worked hard to create some outstanding products which are great for all occasions. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I would highly recommend looking at their excellent chocolate bouquets and boxes. I am really looking forward to supporting Ashleigh and Brandon with the next stage of their business, looking at branching out across the UK.”

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