The Best of British ... and what it means to Yummikeys!
I was watching the news this week and the BBC were in Leeds speaking to local business owners about their concerns and questions with the looming general election (don’t worry - I am not going to talk politics).
It got me thinking deeply about what it means to be a British Business and to be committed to contributing to the local and national economy.
Firstly I wanted to answer a commonly asked questions about Yummikeys. One for wish I had a difficult answer:
Are Yummikeys made in the UK?
The short answer is no and that they are made in China.
Often I am met with: “Surely with a steel industry and history these could definitely be made in the UK?” “Is the quality not very low because these are made in China?”
The long story is that it breaks my heart that we were absolutely not able to get Yummikeys made in the UK, and especially not to the very high quality we insist on. ..after all we are dealing with your child’s safety!
I spent a year having my first batch made here. I spent months contacting hundreds of factories and eventually I found one factory that could partner with me. Bingo, I thought … until I realised that this factory could not polish them and I had to find a separate polisher.
Over the time the quality was decreasing and the costs were rapidly increasing. The UK production resulted in a retail price of £30 - which did not fit with my vision of providing a product that was excellent value for money. My customers made their feelings clear and I was met with consistent comments about the price.
In summary … the process was clunky, costly and I was exhausted trying to coordinate everything with 3 (very) young children.
It broke my heart when I started to look at China as a possible production base for my products…. until I realised just why I couldn’t find a factory in the UK that was able to produce Yummikeys at a reasonable price.
The steel industry, or sadly what remains of it, in the UK is very large architectural steel or small water jet cut unpolished components. After the first batch I had made sadly the 4th generation factory I had managed to find also closed down. This was such a huge shame but my teeny order wasn’t what they were geared for or what they needed to survive.
Yummikeys are now made in a luxury stainless steel factory in China.
One that specialises in this type of production … meaning the quality is phenomenally high.
The factory I use adhere to all of the labour and environmental 🌍 laws in China which are strict and allow us to make the best quality toys.
But the production of Yummikeys is just part of my business and what makes me proud to be a British Business.
- We employ a local mum to help us with the day to day of running our business. And she saves my sanity and is in hand to help with any queries now too.
- We visit our local post office (it’s just across the street) in our small village and both my kids and I are on first name terms with the post master who gratefully processes my large orders. I am sure they make up a large proportion of deliveries in a small village post office.
- We pay our taxes on time (I am a trained accountant) and are proud to give back to the country the supports us
- We outsource some of our marketing to two local companies who are also passionate about reinvesting in the local community.
- We support our local village and all its fairs, gala days and used our church hall for our anniversary party last year.
- We buy from local businesses as much as we can for clothes, food, make up and entertainment.
- We eat cake in our local village cafe and buy our ice cream in the village shop
- We are a local family… living and breathing our local high street and invested in building a happy and connected local community.
- Our engraver is situated in Scotland and is a valued part of our team.
Sure, Yummikeys are manufactured in China… but they're made in The UK.
Elspeth x x