McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Marriott International are some of the worlds biggest companies that have moved to a franchise model in order to successfully grow. We spoke to Nikki Geddes – Founder of local franchise Kiddy Cook about her business journey and the learning curves she’s overcome. 

Nikki Geddes

Launching in 2005 with the dream of inspiring children to have fun with food, Kiddy Cook works by delivering award winning school workshops, after school clubs, classes and parties to encourage healthy choices and to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a challenging world. Nikki Geddes started the business before deciding to franchise, she told us “I really enjoyed baking with my daughter and as a new mum frequenting every toddle group going, I recognised a gap in the market when it came to teach small children about food and cooking. The more I thought about Kiddy Cook, I got excited about the positive impact it could have”

Nikki spent a large part of her career working in corporate roles. She started her working life as a freelance journalist for BBC Radio Leicester, moving on to a role at British retailer Freemans and most recently she spent 12 years working for a high-profile marketing agency in London. Relocating to the North West with her family, she started to think about the possibility of starting a business that would involve making a difference to kids lives, as well that of their parents.

“I’ve always had a franchise model in mind because I knew there were other entrepreneurs out there who felt as I did about kids and learning”

Franchising allowed Nikki to expand her business without big financial costs. With money tight and a family at home, it was important for her to keep costs to a minimum… something which at the start of her journey was a struggle. “I tried to do everything myself without having a real understanding of how to franchise my business. I wasted a lot of money. Furthermore, my business was not as robust as it could have been. I recruited the wrong people for my business, I didn’t take the time to see if they were right for me and the Kiddy Cook brand and some of these franchisees proved unqualified to run a Kiddy Cook franchise resulting in some real lows and a business that remained static for a long time”

If Nikki could offer a piece of advice for anyone looking to start a franchise – Invest your time and money into talking to a franchise consultant right from the start!

Kiddy Cook is now evolving and expanding with 7 areas covered across England and Wales. They continue to collaborate with partners who share the same commitment to causes which encourage health, wellbeing and education and are now in conversation with one of the biggest school sports providers discussing the possibility of partnership to deliver the Kiddy Cook Food Foundation Programme to more schools across the UK.

The business worked with The Women’s Organisation through Greater Manchester based Excelerate Labs Programme. Receiving coaching and support from Senior Business Advisor Mike Marsden, Nikki told us: “The Women’s Organisation have been absolutely fantastic, and my mentor Mike Marsden continues to be a real asset to the growth of Kiddy Cook. From the free courses I’ve attended (How to get your Business seen on Google was my favourite) to the continued support and networking opportunities, they have been a real motivator for me moving forward.”

“It’s still early days for me, but I have no doubt that the work I am doing with The Women’s Organisation will be a contributing factor to my business growth and profit. I have spent the last couple of months evaluating my business model and processes and I have been able to add real value to the existing franchise network.”

Kiddy Cook are currently looking for an entrepreneur to deliver their programme of workshops in the Liverpool and North Wales areas. Kiddy Cook presents a fantastic opportunity and one that can be a great way to build a business using an existing company as a foundation.

If you’d like to find our more get in touch 

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If you would like to benefit from the support received under the Excelerate Labs programme, then please contact: