A COUPLE started delivering sweets during lockdown - and the business is now bringing in more than £1 million.

Grace McGuire and her fiancée began selling pick 'n' mix from their home in Brighton at the height of the Covid crisis in February this year.

Grace and partner Kelly Lansdowne arranged for bags of sweets to be dropped on doorsteps as the pandemic forced people to stay at home.

The online business, called Dead Sweet, has gone from strength to strength since then - hitting a turnover of £1.4 million in less than a year.

The Argus: Grace Mcguire is the director of Dead Sweet.Grace Mcguire is the director of Dead Sweet.

Dead Sweet, now based out of a warehouse in Newhaven, receives up to 600 orders a day and has more than 600,000 followers on social media site TikTok.

Mum-of-three Grace said: "It was getting a bit ridiculous, every single room was taken over by sweets and the order just kept coming in. We had to put a cabin in the garden. It was hellish honestly. We knew we needed to do something, thankfully Kelly has been amazing.

"Since we've moved to the warehouse we've been able to grow our team and now employ more than 15 people, including family members and friends. We've had an amazing few months and we really are a little family."

Grace, who used to be a personal trainer, was already running a clothing brand called Glory XV with business partner Zoe Holborn.

The Argus: Dead Sweet's warehouse has many aisles of sweets, crisps and drinks ready to ship.Dead Sweet's warehouse has many aisles of sweets, crisps and drinks ready to ship.

Zoe suggested they start an online sweet business last year - and it proved an instant success. Zoe, who lives in York, has since stepped back to focus on the apparel brand.

On the day of the Dead Sweet site launch in February, they completely sold out.

The company now stocks hundreds of products including American, Japanese, Australian and Chinese sweets, as well as crisps and drinks.

Dead Sweet specialises in the bizarre and wacky, with unique flavours and unusual products, but pick 'n' mix pouches remain the most popular.

The Argus: Dead Sweet Brighton's LGBTQ owned sweet company that has had some sweet success.

The 32-year-old added: "What sets us apart from other online sweet places is that we embrace the dark and edgy stuff, whereas most companies are very 'sweet like candy', pink and happy.

"We're both quite dark so we wanted to stay true to who we are, I think we do it well."

Grace says much of Dead Sweet's success is thanks to the use of social media, largely TikTok.

She had a large following on the platform prior to the business taking off.

The Argus: The warehouse team at Dead Sweet.The warehouse team at Dead Sweet.

And when she announced the new venture, many of her followers went with her.

Dead Sweet uses the app to engage with customers and give a behind the scenes look at operations.

As the company promise a three-day delivery guarantee, it is always a quick turnaround, with pick 'n' mix pouches packaged and sent off on the day they are assembled.

Despite the huge success, Grace says the experience has not been without its issues.

The Argus: Dead Sweet sweet company

"Things go wrong, of course they do, at the beginning especially we really struggled to keep up with the demand and our delivery wasn't always on time.

"But something that we strive to do is be honest about this, we always take full responsibility and explain everything to our customers."

Being a same-sex couple and employing others who also identify as part of LGBTQ+ community has also brought its own challenges.

Sometimes Grace receives some homophobic comments on her videos, but says she does not tolerate this and will always call users out.

The Argus: Dead Sweet Brighton's LGBTQ owned sweet company that has had some sweet success.

In the future Dead Sweet is looking to expand further, starting with a second warehouse to help manage the number of orders.

Grace says that her dream would be to eventually open a sweet and coffee shop in Brighton.

She said: "At the moment we're just going along with it, we're so happy with how well it's going and feel very lucky.

"We'll just have to wait and see what happens."

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