LIFE is sweet for one confectioner who has a legion of celebrity fans snapping up her boozy lollipops.
Holly Brooks has a sweet-making business with a difference – her treats are for adults only and come laced with alcohol.
The 24 year-old former Stratford Girls’ Grammar student began making lollipops to impress her student friends at university in Bath, where she was studying psychology.
But some years later, while working in marketing she decided to take the plunge and go it alone, making her hobby a business.
Now she has fans all over the country who love her alcoholic boiled sweets including humbugs, rock sweets, and her famous lollipops in flavours such as pina colada, gin and elderflower and raspberry prosecco.
Holly told the Observer: “Making sweets was something I had done at university for a bit of fun. When I left I got a job which wasn’t for me and so I started making lollipops again, they picked up interest and I have never looked back.
“One day I just quit anyway, no plan, no investment, no money, just a lot of hard work.
“I made them at home for about six months. but after I had made about 20,000 I realised I needed business premises.”
Holly now has a manufacturing base in Great Alne where she and her sister – who she recently employed – produce around 10,000 sweets a month, with the number rising to 40,000 in the run-up to Christmas.
She turned over more than £300,000 in her first year and chat show host Jonathan Ross is also said to be a fan.
Holly has even made an appearance on television, showing Kirsty Allsopp how to make boozy lollipops on Kirsty’s Handmade Christmas.
Holly said: “The highlight of my career has to be being on TV, it was a crazy whirlwind – that and surviving two Christmases running the company single handedly.
“Our products are naughty but nice,
‘We are an adult sweet shop, and everyone loves that kid in a sweet shop feeling. We were the first people to develop boozy hard candy and are still the only ones selling boiled sweets made with actual alcohol in.
‘I never thought I would have this much success in a million years.
“We are expanding all the time and I hope we will continue to do so.”
Visit www.hollyslollies.co.uk to find out more.