While most teenagers spend their days glued to TV shows or video games, one Cambridge whizz-kid has swapped Xboxes for gift boxes with the launch of her own food bizz – at just 15-years-old.
Year 10-school pupil Amelise Burr, from Melbourn near Royston, has created a new online gift box and hamper company called Cambridge Artisan, selling the best bites from across East Anglia.
Each thoughtfully curated hamper presents the very best of Cambridge’s artisan food and drink—and is available in a range of sizes, priced from £59 to £135. Gift boxes start from £20 and there’s free P&P for all orders over £50.
Giving food lovers a one-stop farm gate to regional food and drink, with beautifully packaged hampers and boxes that include everything from cured meat to coffee and chutneys to chocolate, the idea for Cambridge Artisan came from Amelise’s love for her local market – and for business.
“I couldn’t believe how many yummy foods were on offer at my market square, but I realised shoppers were finding it tricky to source their favourites all in one place – so I hit upon the idea of an online shop where local food traders could come together under one ‘virtual roof’,”
says Amelise, a pupil at Melbourn Village College.
“I’ve always wanted to start my own business – and make my first million! For years, I’ve read articles and watched TV programmes about teenage millionaires, and I just couldn’t stop thinking ‘why can’t I do that?’”
With Cambridge Artisan’s focus on sourcing only from small, independent, East Anglian producers, Amelise has spent many months visiting local traders, taste testing samples, compiling a database of contacts and (with the help of her parents!) designing the new website.
So, while her friends are preparing for their mock GCSEs, with her new company launched yesterday, Amelise is juggling homework with writing Cambridge Artisan newsletters, sourcing new traders and putting together hampers and gift boxes.
But she’s no stranger to multi-tasking. As well as launching her own business, Amelise is also coaching a local rowing team, practicing for her Grade 4 piano, studying for a D of E award and learning to play saxophone with her school band!
Dad Robert Burr—owner of local food truck: The Churros Bar—is helping Amelise manage the company. He says he knows the business is in safe hands.
“Amelise has always been a high achiever – and has always been a food lover. She was passionate about supporting local artisan producers and offering shoppers their favourite East Anglian goodies in one place, delivered direct,” he says. “Voted the fastest-growing food and drink city in the UK, Cambridge has become a hub for remarkable artisan food recently – and we’re glad to be in the thick of it!”