Two Months On: Apprentice Winner Harpreet Kaur (Oh So Yum!).
It’s been 10 weeks since Harpreet Kaur from Oh So Yum! won The Apprentice. We caught up with Harpreet in person to find out how it’s been going with Lord Sugar.
Last month, Gramersi’s George Taylor popped into Oh So Yum!’s Huddersfield branch, to catch up with the dessertpreneur.
Harpreet launched Oh So Yum! (formerly known as ‘Barni’s’) almost seven years ago, with her sister, Gurvinder.
Since winning The Apprentice and receiving Lord Sugar’s investment, Harpreet and Gurvinder have been able to step back from the day-to-day running of the business, pass this responsibility onto their staff, and… focus on the bigger picture.
Now, Gurvinder works with the team and the suppliers (whilst tackling the operations and the logistics side of the company), and Harpreet focuses on growth.
Not only does Harpreet admire Lord Sugar, but she’s hit it off with him, too. And you can see why. They have two things in common: humble beginnings, and a strong work ethic.
“Lord Sugar can see the hard graft, and we connect on that level. I don’t come from a background of any sort of money or privilege. We’ve worked so hard to get here, and there’s no way we’re going to let that go. Lord Sugar can see that within me, and in us,” said Harpreet.
And it was a humble beginning that took some serious dedication. Initially, Oh So Yum! started out with a kiosk at the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds.
“There were days when you’d get that adrenaline rush and you’d get loads of customers, and it was amazing. But there were also days where you’d hardly make any money. I definitely experienced those days at the beginning. It was really, really hard, and you get this horrible sickening feeling inside,” said the dessertpreneur.
However, it didn’t phase this sisterly business duo. Eventually, Harpreet took a considerable leap of faith: she quit her job in banking, and she moved from spreadsheets to waffles.
But it paid off.
Currently, Oh So Yum! Has two ‘arms:’
- Customers can visit a branch in person, and make an order.
- Or, they can order online, and have it delivered to their doorstep.
At the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds, Oh So Yum!’s kiosk is famous for its grab-and-go experience, whereas their Huddersfield branch is best-known for its full, dine-in experience. The Huddersfield branch is open seven days a week, except for Christmas Day, and their busiest hour is 8PM. Why, you may ask? Apparently, sweet tooth’s start to emerge around this time…
Interestingly, Oh So Yum! has managed to tap into the teetotal market, too, especially when it comes to their Asian clientele. Harpreet realised that her desserts come with a certain kind of appeal.
‘What are you supposed to do if you want to socialise in the evening, but you don’t want to go for a drink? You need to socialise somewhere, and a lot of coffee shops close quite early on, and you don’t want to be drinking coffee at night time. That’s why we have a clientele that comes in in the evenings to socialise and chill,” said Harpreet Kaur.
So what’s next? And how are things going with Lord Sugar?
Harpreet excitedly revealed to us that the trio are already on their journey towards opening more stores, and more specifically, in the North of England (for now). “People would love to see us across the country. But it would be silly of me to start doing sporadic growth. I want to grow it in the correct way, that’s sustainable from every angle.”
Lord Sugar’s investment and expertise has also enabled Oh So Yum! to roll-out a delivery service, and a subscription service MIGHT just be in the works…
Famous for her delicious cookie cup and cookie pie inventions, a post-Apprentice Harpreet is now on a mission to become the number one “go-to” dessert brand in the UK, and with how well things are going, she’s in for a good chance. She’s also exploring the possibility of marketplaces and retail(ers). Watch this space.
Growth is going steadily, and after a sit-down in Essex with Lord Sugar himself, the two have put together a plan.
“Lord Sugar seems quite happy with where we’re at at the moment, and we’ve got a plan. We’ve got lots of exciting things in the works. I’m really enjoying working with him and his team. They’ve been really supportive. It’s been extra pressure, but I thrive under pressure.”
Don’t forget to check out Oh So Yum! here.