Bedfordshire Chamber welcomed its youngest member since 1877 as young entrepreneur Henry Patterson received his honorary membership certificate. Henry, aged just nine, runs his own online sweet retailing business selling sweets aimed at children. Not Before Tea is Henry’s third business with previous enterprises including selling manure and an online shop selling unwanted toys.Henry, from Lidlington, believes his age makes him the ideal person to sell sweets to other children:
‘No one knows sweets better than children’ he says
Henry designs all the sweet combinations sold on his site using sweets he buys wholesale. He conducts detailed market research among his peers, ensuring he understands his target market. Selections such as the self-explanatory ‘Not for Boys’, ‘Mallow Meadows’ (marshmallows) and ‘My Little Jar of Mud’ (featuring jelly worms) have proved a hit with Henry’s website receiving thousands of hits.
Being a born businessman, Henry never passes up the opportunity to make a sale. Recently unwell at school, Henry had to visit the school nurse. By the end of his visit, the nurse had ordered sweets from the site. ‘That’s business!’ he quips.
Chamber Chief Executive Cheryl Smart MBE was very impressed when she heard about Henry’s business success.
‘We’re really proud that such a young and successful business person should come from Bedfordshire’ comments Cheryl ‘It’s great to see young people with entrepreneurial flair. Young people like Henry are the business people of the future who will help to build our economy and provide employment. It’s a real pleasure to make Henry an honorary member of the Chamber and we’re really looking forward to keeping up to date with his progress.'