Wymondham fish bait business celebrates successful first year

A flourishing Wymondham fish-bait business is celebrating a successful first year and is looking to break into international markets.

Carp Vader, run by Alan Hubbard and Darren Dunkley, manufactures fish baits including pellets and additives. The business, which is based in Philip Ford Way, Wymondham, employs five people.

Mr Dunkley said: 'Last year I was running a little bait business out of a shed and it started growing. Alan and I got together to give our sons a better future – we wanted to give our sons a job.

Mr Hubbard's son, Danny, 22, and Mr Dunkley's son, Aiden, 18, both work full time in the production department. They also employ a sales manager.

'We bought the Carp Vader brand and recipes last year. It sells well on the internet and at trade shows.

'We have spent a year perfecting the methods that we use and we have lots of new products planned which we are writing recipes for,' Mr Dunkley said.

In its first year, the business has turned over �200,000.

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They supply local lakes at Barford, Besthorpe fisheries and a number of tackle shops across the country.

But now they are planning to break into international markets.

'We ship internationally as well and have customers in South Africa and Slovenia.

'Europe is a massive market which we are hoping to break into and America is an emerging market. The UK bait industry has a good reputation as our fish are some of the hardest to catch.

'Fish love anything sweet, salty or spicy so we have flavourings such as strawberry, pineapple and coconut,' Mr Dunkley said.

'This year has been bad for the fishing economy. We had a terrible spring because we had so much rain and fishing is a seasonal business.'

They are bidding for contracts with large retailers and are currently seeking planning permission to build new premises in Snetterton.

Mr Hubbard said: 'We would like to consolidate where we are now. It's a tough market and things have been tougher than we expected them to be.'

lucy.wright@archant.co.uk

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