An entrepreneurial couple from Blackpool are celebrating their online drinks gift business A Toast in the Post, after it sold more than 3,500 drinks and won two national awards in six months.
Based on Blackpool EZ, David and Jane Charnley have worked in the events industry for more than 20 years and set up the online gift company last year, after realising the extended long-term impact COVID-19 would have on their exhibitions and wedding businesses – creating a much-needed lifeline and focus for them in difficult times.
A Toast in the Post allows people to celebrate the special moments in life when they cannot be together by sending a drink of your choice through the post, together with a personalised photo message card.
The couple have just sent their 3,500th drink and won Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis’s national Small Business Sunday (SBS) award. A Toast in the Post has also had other celebrity endorsements, with Britain’s Got Talent start Amanda Holden praising their venture when being sent a toast for her 50th birthday, as well as winning the national Women of Wednesday (WOW) award, set up by Jaqueline Gold of Ann Summers.
David said: “It’s been a whirlwind six months, seeing daily orders triple from our original expectations and trying to keep up with demand for people wanting to let loved ones know they are thinking about them in these difficult times.
“It’s not been easy – we’ve gone from running an exhibition and a wedding business for more than two decades, to setting up an e-commerce website in a few months, with all hands on deck sourcing 100% recyclable packaging, the right miniature alcoholic drinks and posting from our storage cupboard in our Blackpool warehouse. But seeing sales grow and winning a national award by a well-renowned Dragons’ Den entrepreneur certainly makes all the long nights of packing worth it.”
Jane thought of ‘A Toast in the Post’ on a car journey two years ago when she was unable to attend a close relative’s funeral and thought it would be nice to send the family his favourite drink with a message and a treasured photo of him, to celebrate his life when she couldn’t be there in person: “The idea has been with us ever since,” she added.