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A great family business

Peter, Christine & Michelle Cox, Middlesex

WE had wanted to start up a business together for some time, so when Peter's contract as a mechanical engineer ended we decided to seize the opportunity and become self-employed. As neither of us had any experience of running a business we liked the thought of having a tried and tested business model and ongoing support, so decided to visit a franchise exhibition for inspiration.

Snack-In-The-Box (SITB) caught our eye because we are 'chocoholics'. We had an interest in the products we would be selling, we liked the thought of being able to work from the comfort of our own home and felt the concept of placing boxes of confectionary and snacks into workplaces could be a profitable venture - especially as the business is associated with Cadbury.

We launched our Middlesex-based SITB franchise in 2000 and have built up the business to a weekly turnover in excess of £2,800. We have two vans on the road servicing our 300 clients and our daughter Michelle is now part of the business and drives one of the vans. We really enjoy running our business. We have made friends with some of our regular clients and only work Monday to Friday so we have the weekends to relax. We often go to the coast and Peter is finally able to pursue his dream of building a motorbike.

We have divided the workload so that we all play a role within the business - Christine packs the boxes and does the paperwork while Peter and Michelle are out on the road. If one of us falls ill the other members of the family will pick up the slack and ensure the clients continue to receive the same quality service. Running the business as a family is great because everyone works hard to ensure the business is profitable so that we are able to share and enjoy the rewards!