Chris Fryer and his wife Sarah from Newcastle-upon-Tyne were both ready for new careers; Chris was a full-time teacher while Sarah was a medical secretary.
Not only that, but as life-long vegans and vegetarians, they were equally tired of the lack of suitable comfort food options available to them. The supermarket shelves were filled to the brim with dairy and meat products, but there were few treats for their dietary requirements.
Knowing they weren’t alone, this seemed like the perfect opportunity for a business idea. So, following a year of culinary experimentation in their home kitchen, the Fryers launched Magpye in March 2019: a vegan pie company.
From steak and ale pies that are rich enough to rival the real thing, to Chris’s personal favourite, roasted butternut squash and brussel sprout pie, Magpye have a wealth of indulgent, plant-powered pies to choose from – and they’re all handmade.
Plus, Magpye has enabled both Chris and Sarah to leave their old careers well behind.
In its earliest days, Magpye sold their plant-based pies out of a converted horsebox trailer, which Chris and Sarah took to events around the local area.
Chris says, ‘we started selling our piping hot pies with mash out of the trailer and I still worked part-time to make ends meet. We just relied on passing trade.’
These delicious meat-free goodies grew in popularity throughout the neighbourhood, and the Fryers had a full summer calendar lined up for 2020, taking the horsebox on tour to music events across the county.
But when the pandemic hit, this all ground to a halt. With social distancing measures in place for the foreseeable future, Magpye had only two options: to hit pause and wait for everything to blow over or go digital.
Online business: It’s easy as pie
‘Once it became clear in mid to late March 2020 what was about to happen with coronavirus, that was when we decided it was time to go digital and set up a website,’ reveals Chris. ‘Prior to that, we had no online presence at all.’
Chris already had a dormant domain name for Magpye which he’d bought via GoDaddy. So, it only seemed right that he used them to build his website, too.
‘When we came to setting up a website, I went to check on the domain and learnt that GoDaddy had an actual website builder advertised with a month’s free trial,’ he reveals. ‘Before I knew it, I’d signed up and I was really happy with how it worked. And as it was a month’s free trial, I had nothing to lose giving it a go – but it proved to be worth it anyway.
‘It took us all of a morning to build Magpye’s website back in March and we’ve changed very little since building it,’ he continues. ‘We were so pleased with it that after the free trial we signed up for their Websites + Marketing ecommerce product for websites and marketing and haven’t looked back.’
GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing ecommerce product is a subscription package that enables customers to build professional websites without any expertise or experience. It’s quick, simple and there are knowledgeable support staff on standby 24/7 for those times you need an extra helping hand.
The Websites + Marketing ecommerce product has lots of nifty features designed to help business new and old succeed online, from social media management and post templates, to online shop builders and management systems – something which Chris has found especially useful.
‘When we first launched the Magpye website, it was just for local delivery in and around Newcastle; people would order pies and we’d deliver them every weekend. So using the GoDaddy online store, we found it was really easy to add products, monitor your stock levels, process your orders – it just makes it all really simple.
‘What we also really liked is that there’s an option to download a spreadsheet file that goes into all the really granular details of your stocks and orders and everything,’ Chris continues. ‘It’s a great way of keeping track of everything without spending the time doing it yourself. It’s ideal for online business newbies.’
A finger in every pie
From boosting visibility to managing the complexities of day-to-day business, GoDaddy has helped Magpye along with thousands of other online ventures expand, giving their founders the chance to concentrate on their crafts.
For Chris and Sarah, this has enabled them to grow their enterprise from a local company to a nationwide business, and they’ve been selling their scrummy pies throughout the UK since September 2020.
Since then, trade has skyrocketed and Magpye has made and delivered 14,000 handmade pies across the country – and the orders keep coming.
So, if you have a passion or a business idea in mind, GoDaddy could be the platform you need to achieve your dreams. Chris certainly thinks so:
‘We couldn’t recommend GoDaddy enough for new businesses. It’s the speed and the simplicity of it all – not just the website building but how it enables us to manage orders so efficiently.
‘At a glance, we can see exactly what’s coming in, we can organise the orders by local and national – all at the click of a button. Another factor is that there are a lot of advanced features underneath the simple stuff for when you’ve developed your understanding. You can monitor performance, for example, and check on the traffic of your site, and there’s graphs that breakdown your profits over weeks and months.
‘There’s so little risk,’ he concludes. ‘It was so quick and there’s a 30-day free trial so you can see if it’ll work for you. Now, we pay about £19.99 a month* which includes all the ecommerce and marketing stuff, website management and social media management.’
Visit GoDaddy today to find out how you can launch an enterprise or keep your business booming.
*Prices correct at time of publication.