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Find out how Outset Cornwall can help you

Cecily Mills

Coconuts Naturally

Each journey has to start with a single step, and mine was coming to Outset Cornwall. I genuinely feel so lucky that we have such a great resource available to us here.

Cecily’s story

Finding a passion and using it to fuel a business idea is sometimes the first step for people starting their own business. Outset Cornwall offers support to these individuals by encouraging them to develop their ideas and helping them start their business journey.

Cecily Mills approached Outset Cornwall back in 2014 on her sister’s recommendation, after discovering a passion for producing organic vegan ice cream and yogurt made from unprocessed natural coconut oil.

Combining a desire to be her own boss with her long term vision of up-scaling production to commercial levels, Cecily quickly realised the Outset service offered exactly what her business needed, giving her an opportunity to meet other like-minded people and get expert feedback on her ideas in the process.

“My sister was already attending a course in Truro when I started looking for support, so when she introduced me to Outset Cornwall, I enrolled on the programme straightaway,” says Cecily. “For me, it really was the perfect find.”

Despite having a career background in retail, completing the Marks and Spencer graduate scheme after university and working as retail operations manager for Oliver Bonas in London, Cecily still found the content and structure of the sessions extremely helpful in developing her business.

Using the market research theory delivered in the Introduction to Enterprise sessions and combining it with the practical aspects of marketing and sales from the Business Start-Up sessions, Cecily learned how to efficiently define her target market and produce a comprehensive marketing plan for her new venture.

Cecily says: “Marketing was an area I was always unsure about, but thanks to our advisor Spencer, his positive attitude and the quality of the written materials we were given, it quickly became something I could easily get to grips with.”

“Completing the Outset programme has been a great experience and really consolidated a lot for me in terms of my knowledge and skills,” says Cecily. “Each journey has to start with a single step, and mine was coming to Outset Cornwall. I genuinely feel so lucky that we have such a great resource available to us here.”

Since completing the Outset programme in 2014, Cecily launched her business into the market and it is now stocked in a number of independent stores across the UK & Ireland. It has started exporting to the UAE and the Far East. The company have also been awarded a gold star at the Great Taste Awards 2016 and won the Best Supplier 2015 at the international conference for the Institute of Functional Medicine. It also recently clinched a contract to supply Morrisons supermarkets across the South West.

Commenting on the development, Mills said: “We had such a fantastic year in 2016.  But launching in Morrisons is a really significant step for us, and one that we’re really excited about. “We’ve got this amazing product – dairy-free ice cream that’s completely organic, sweetened only with unrefined coconut sugar, and containing only healthy fats from coconut cream. It ticks so many boxes, both for health and, most importantly, for taste.”