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Young sweetie entrepreneur Alfie, 12, invited by street food firm Aberdam to get a real taste of business

Founders of Aberdam, David Griffiths and Mike Robertson have teamed up with Alfie Mutch to support his business. Supplied by Jade Mutch.
Founders of Aberdam, David Griffiths and Mike Robertson have teamed up with Alfie Mutch to support his business. Supplied by Jade Mutch.

Aberdeen street food firm Aberdam has teamed up with young 12-year-old entrepreneur, Alfie Mutch, after being impressed with The P&J article on his own growing sweetie business.

Alfie and his mum, Jade Mutch, were invited by the founders of Aberdam at Shiprow to get a taste – quite literally – of what running a business looks like.

The business duo, Michael Robertson and David Griffiths, both had the idea after reading The P&J article about Alfie and his sweetie business.

Impressed by the 12-year-old’s apparent “entrepreneurial mindset”, both businessmen said they could resonate with Alfie’s drive and wanted to encourage him.

🍬WHOLESOME CONTENT ALERT🍬✖️✖️✖️We noticed an article in the @pressandjournal / @eveningexpress recently about young…

Posted by ABERDAM on Sunday, 21 August 2022

Inviting him down to see the inner workings of the company, Mr Griffiths said he and the team were very impressed with the young entrepreneur.

Getting stuck in with the staff, Mr Griffiths said: “He’s so confident, and kind of calm and measured for his age. He’s got so many ideas as well and he’s so creative.

“So he jumped in and was making the fries and jumping amongst the team and asking people questions, and was actually brilliant. All the team were really, really taken by him.

Aberdam helping the next generation make an impact

“And when he left, everyone was saying how they could see why he would be the type of person that would kind of try and launch a little business with his mum’s help and stuff.

“But what was different about him was that he thinks about the ideas, he thinks about solving the problems, not identifying the problems.

Alfie Mutch visiting Aberdam. Supplied by Jade Mutch

“So everyone that came across him, identified those traits.

Having started their own businesses at similar ages, Mr Griffiths added: “At 11, 12 years old, we both ran little enterprises at school with the help of our parents.

“So when we read that story, and read the drive and forward thinking and entrepreneurial mindset he was clearly displaying, that just resonated super heavily with both of us.”

Aberdam background

After Mr Griffiths spent 15 years in the restaurant trade and Mr Robertson had been in construction and working as an engineer, they joined together to create the successful business.

Mr Griffiths, 32, said: “We both wanted to do projects in the city that make a difference to Aberdeen and would have a big impact.

“And with my operational hospitality, food and drink background and marketing and his kind of commercial sales and construction base drive – that’s how we’ve met in the middle.”

Built on £5,000 on a credit card and by borrowing a few fryers, Aberdam was built and from that the Backyard event was created.

Mr Griffiths added: “Everything we’ve done started on the basis of looking to improve the city and to try and work for the bigger picture and work to have an impact on our local community.

“I think we’ve seen the city be an oil-focused city and we’ve seen the highs and the lows of it throughout our lifetime. We kind of want it to be built on more.

“There’s so many opportunities, we’re in such a blessed part of the world, that the opportunities are like in abundance, so more people should have the ability to harness them.”

Hopes Alfie sets precedent for other businesses

After spending the day with Alfie and staying in contact, it is their hope other businesses will be encouraged to do the same.

Mr Griffiths added: “We hope to encourage others to harness young people that show the skills and create environments where they can really practically harness them and grow them.

David Griffiths and Alfie working together at Aberdam. Supplied by Jade Mutch

“Because ultimately, that’s going to provide the platform for the next people like me and Mike and it might actually fast track them.

“If we can play a small part in setting that culture, then we feel that we’ve then done something important for the city we grew up in.

“So this was one of those opportunities that we identified where we shouldn’t just sit back and admire this young person, we need to show other people how important it is.”

‘It’s helped motivate and encourage me’

When visiting, Alfie was shown the ropes and was given the opportunity to make dinner for his mum and himself, with the help of a few teams.

The 12-year-old said while the food was amazing, the highlight was putting it together.

Alfie said he wants to have a business similar to Aberdam one day. Supplied by Jade Mutch

Alfie said: “(My favourite moment was) probably making the food because I quite enjoyed using all this stuff in the kitchen.

“I quite liked even just going in to have a look at business as well.”

After speaking with both Alfie and his mum, Mr Griffiths and Mr Robertson said they wanted to sell 50 of Alfie’s sweetie cones online.

Starting last week, customers could buy the sweetie cones from Aberdam with all the profits going wholly to Alfie.

Sweetie entrepreneur Alfie Mutch with his mum Jade. Picture by Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

Reflecting on the visit and his own business, Alfie said: “So I’ll definitely keep on going with the sweetie business until I’m at least old enough to get a proper job.

“I think it’s motivated me quite a bit and I’ve got more encouraged and stuff and I’d like to have like a place like his when I’m older.”

Mrs Mutch said the feedback from the Press and Journal’s article and Aberdam’s post has been great.

“Dave was so nice and has been so helpful and kind to Alfie,” she said.

“We couldn’t believe like the feedback we’ve had from the article, everyone has been so encouraging and that was so good.”

She added other companies had also since reached out and offered advice and support to help Alfie with his sweetie business.

Do you know of any young, driven entrepreneurs like Alfie? Please get in touch, we would love to hear their story!