The award-winning Potions Cauldron on Shambles celebrated its fifth anniversary at the end of October.
And what an spellbinding five years it’s been!
The magical venue, which offers a popular potion making experience and a wide range of spellbinding gifts and souvenirs, was founded by Ben Fry and Phil Pinder.
From a £125,000 year turnover and five staff in 2018, the Potions Cauldron has evolved into The Potions Cauldron Group with a team of 50 wizards and an annual turnover of £3 million.
Over the five years it has expanded to include other brands and experiences such as the mini-golf experience The Hole in Wand and The Potions Express. As well as York, The Potions Cauldron Group can be found in Blackpool and Edinburgh, with more exciting additions to be announced in 2024.
The group currently produces half a million potions a year for their guests as well as supplying key UK retailer HMV and holiday resort Centre Parcs.
In late 2022 the group started shipping to the USA and are now negotiating the product for the European market.
In March 2023, Ben and Phil entered TV show Dragons’ Den only to turn down a £200k offer – one of the largest offers ever made.
Co-founder Ben Fry said: “I can still remember the first day in the shop on York Shambles thinking; what on earth have we done?
“However, five years on, a global pandemic and a few sleepless nights later I am pleased at how far we have come and it has definitely been worth it.
“Creating magical experiences everyday still excites me, we make sure that we are affordable for all particularly in this current cost of living crisis.”
Business partner Phil Pinder said: “We have also added additional staffing benefits for our team of 50 staff including an extra day off for a team member’s child’s first day at school.
“Our staff truly help us to create magical memories and experiences, the team are key to our growth and reputation and being part of the Good Business Charter and other initiatives helps direct us in creating an excellent work culture.”
To celebrate five years, The Potions Cauldron Group have set up the ‘Grobblenook Foundation’.
The foundation will be fully funded by The Potions Cauldron Group and is named after the group’s gargoyle mascot.
In its initial stages it will allow registered charities and schools within the locations where the group has shops and attractions to access tickets for things like raffles and auctions for local fundraisers.
In early 2024 the group will announce the next stage of the foundation offering, which will be where families can access tickets and goody bags, with further announcements to come throughout 2024.
Also to celebrate five years there is an exclusive online bundle of magical drinks available to purchase at the Potions Cauldron’s website.