Happiness in a jar: Dragons’ Den winners launch online cupcake store

After securing an investment on reality show Dragons’ Den SA in 2014, where entrepreneurs pitch to get funding for their business ideas, husband and wife team Christopher and Tanja Berg are making their shared dream a reality with the launch of their online confectionery and cupcake store, Candy Wasted.

Their slogan, ‘happiness in a jar’, refers to the homemade cupcakes, which arrive in a reusable glass container with all sorts of tasty toppings. “We try to come up with a new flavour every two weeks,” says Christopher, adding that their latest creation involves caramel popcorn, creamy icing and crispy bacon. Other flavours include red velvet, Nutella, peanut butter, Turkish Delight, peppermint crisp, lemon cream, coconut, death by chocolate, cherry, and cappuccino. The team has also whipped up a limited-edition Valentine’s Day cupcake topped with creamy icing and edible red hearts.

Candy Wasted cupcakes by Christopher and Tanja Berg

Candy Wasted cupcakes by Christopher and Tanja Berg

The cupcakes cost R35 each (excluding delivery) and are available in a gift box with a bow and special card for an extra charge. Simply order you cupcake online, select a delivery date and the team will put together a quote based on the location and delivery time. (At present, delivery is only available in Gauteng.)

Though Candy Wasted was initially pitched as a gourmet candy store, Dragons’ Den investors Vinny Lingham and Polo Radebe agreed to fund the project on the condition that the store operated online. The intensive pitch lasted a gruelling 1 hour and 45 minutes. Christopher worked as a chef for 13 years and his wife, Tanja, has 12 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, but since Dragon’s Den, the couple has been able to leave their jobs to focus on the store full time.

So what’s next for Candy Wasted? “Vegan cupcakes,” says Christopher. The egg-free cupcakes are made with sunflower-seed butter and are now available to order on their website. While presently an online shop, Candy Wasted does make real-life appearances, like it did at Market on Main in Johannesburg earlier in February. They are testing the waters, the couple explains, adding that they still hope to open their dream candy store one day.

Craving cupcakes? Visit the Candy Wasted website to order your ‘happiness in a jar’

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