Project snapshot

Region

Adelaide Hills

Project contact

Steve Shotton
Regional Development Manager

Alignment with RDA strategy

  • Economic development

Grant Recipient Case Study – 2021 Funding Round


Based in the coastal town of Normanville, Maudie & Fox is a retail store offering an eclectic mix of giftware, including homewares, women’s clothing and accessories, scented products and, more recently, an array of delicious fudge made fresh in-house.  


Maudie & Fox have been selling their wares to locals and visitors alike since 2015. Looking to increase both foot traffic and repeat sales to boost revenue, owner Bridget Fox explored options for pre-made food items that could be purchased for gifts, or as immediate consumables, that would bring people back for more.  

Hitting the sweet spot

Over the years, Bridget had trialled a number of pre-made food items, including chocolates and nougat. While these proved to be popular gift items, they were not items people bought for their own consumption and did not generate the repeat sales as hoped. Additionally, the need to purchase these pre-made and pre-packaged goods from a 3rd party vendor made them comparatively expensive to bring in, leaving little room for profit.

Undeterred, Bridget conducted further research which led her to trialling fudge. Not only did it align with her existing product lines, but it was a product she could create herself to reduce overheads, increase profit margins and provide greater flexibility over the end product to cater to customers.

With fresh fudge requiring little to no packaging, it is perceived differently from pre-packaged times, generating more “impulse buys” as locals indulge in this sweet treat for themselves, either while shopping for others or simply when passing by. It is positioned as an affordable “grab and go” item with broad appeal, proving popular in a town with no other corresponding lolly or ice-cream stores.

How Maudie & Foxed used the Hills and Coast Business Grant

In order to make the fudge in-house, Maudie & Fox required a dedicated space to create commercial quality and quantities of product. Funding was sought to renovate the shop to include the necessary space and equipment for production, as well as a food-safe counter in which to store and display the fudge, and the grant made up a sizeable portion of those expenses.

What happened after receiving the grant

The renovations to the store to accommodate the fit out resulted in an overall change of layout and greater appeal. Foot traffic has increased year-round, and sales of fudge alone make up 6.5% of total revenue to generate some sound returns.

Maudie & Fox have since taken on a new employee who is currently working 1 day a week, which allows Bridget time to create new stock. It is anticipated this role will expand across the busy summer months with increased tourist trade.

Feedback on the Hills & Coast grant process

Bridget had not been actively looking for a grant at the time, but had an eye open in general. However, it seemed to her that small retail and sole traders fell through the cracks for most grants, as many were targeted toward much larger agriculture or hospitality businesses and were too large or expensive for smaller projects like hers to qualify.

After spotting the Hills & Coast Business Grant in the Yankalilla Council Newsletter, Bridget found it fairly simple to put her application together and get timely feedback on questions, which was very welcome for a sole trader without lots of spare time to dedicate to the process.    

“Throw your hat in the ring! It’s worth applying for a grant, even if just for the experience.”