A PAIR of sweet lovers launched their own brand after seeing pick and mix disappear from the shops in the coronavirus crisis.

The Bonbon Boys sells candy boxes online for home delivery.

It is the brainchild of Poole residents Kalem Brinkworth and Joe Quinlan.

Kalem, 27, and Joe, 26, came up with the idea after the sale of traditional pick and mix sweets were restricted or suspended in many shops.

Within two weeks, they had sourced more than 200kg of sweets in more than 30 varieties, with vegan options and sustainable packaging.

The business launched in mid-June and passed 100 orders in its first weekend, which included Father’s Day.

The boxes were delivered across Dorset and as far afield as Aberdeenshire, Cornwall and Kent.

Mr Quinlan said: “We started the business with an open mind, a limited budget and a love of confectionery.

“It just seemed a good idea for a business and as we’ve always wanted to have our own business and this seemed the right time, especially with the growth in home deliveries due to the lockdown.

“We both grew up with a love of sweets, a sweet tooth and a sheer love of all things confectionery, from the tastes, the packaging and the feelgood factor.

“The business was founded on the basis that pick ‘n’ mix was not available during lockdown in its usual outlets during the Covid-19 epidemic due to concerns around hygiene.

“There was a new digital tide turning as people were finding new ways to brighten up their days in isolation with home deliveries of luxuries that wouldn’t normally be deliverable.”

Mr Brinkworth said: “It’s the nostalgia of tucking into a box of good old-fashioned pick ‘n’ mix that takes us back to simpler times.”

Retailers including Tesco, Wilko and Morrisons stopped selling unwrapped pick and mix sweets during the coronavirus crisis.

The Bonbon Boys website offers two selections in nine-inch pizza boxes costing £10.95 – the Classic One and the Vegan One, without gelatine. Delivery is free to a range of BH postcodes.