Sussex mum toasts success as small business grows

The glass is definitely half-full for one Sussex mum – as she prepares to take her growing fruit infusions business to a number of large food and drink shows in the South East and beyond over the rest of 2024.

Busy mum-of-two Michelle Pratt from Horsham will be taking her brand Fruitology to the BBC Good Food Summer Show at Birmingham NEC from 13-16 June and Goodwood Good Food Festival from 16-18 August.

And, alongside a number of other markets in Sussex, Michelle will also be showcasing the brand at the Surrey Gin Fest at Loseley Park on 7 September, and at the Festive Fayre at Hampton Court Palace from 6-8 December.

Michelle only took over the brand – and lots of glass bottles – from a friend in 2023 and has seen her business go from strength to strength in a short period of time.

She has already showcased the brand at large and small markets and fairs – including running tasting sessions at One Garden Brighton – and is stocked in 10 shops across the UK, including stores in Salisbury and Weymouth.

Fruitology combines freeze dried fruits and sugar in a reusable glass bottle. To customise it to your taste, all you need to do is add your favourite alcoholic spirit and leave it to infuse for three to four weeks. After that it’s ready to drink over ice, in prosecco, or in cocktails – and you can even eat the infused fruit too!

There are three core flavours available all year round – Berry Blast, Blackcurrant Burst and Strawberry Cooler – which are available in 250ml and 750ml bottles, as well as environmentally-friendly refill pouches.

There are also seasonal specials – currently Summer Heat (which brings together pineapple, mango and chilli flakes) and Mango Sunset, which mixes mango and raspberries. Gift sets are also available – and busy mum Michelle has recently branched into wedding favours too.

Michelle says: “It’s fantastic that I’ll be able to showcase Fruitology at the Good Food Show this summer – it’s like a dream come true, albeit one that sometimes keeps me awake at night. Who would have thought I would be exhibiting there after less than a year!

“I love what I do, but I couldn’t do any of it without my husband Dave and the rest of my family who have all been brilliant – helping me with labelling and supporting me at markets.

“It’s been an absolute whirlwind over the last 12 months, and I can’t believe how much the business has grown in such a short time. My next dream is to be stocked by a national retailer – so if Waitrose or John Lewis are reading this, drop me a line.”