A YOUNG woman has set up her own sushi and delivery business at home after creating New Year's treats.

Alex Duckitt, from Penrith, is making and packaging the sushi all by herself while also offering home deliveries and collections.

Explaining how she started, the 19-year-old, said: “Over Christmas, my mum bought me a sushi-making kit for Secret Santa — it was literally only £11 from Amazon — it was very simple.

“She knew I always wanted to make sushi at home and on New Year's Eve I made some for the family.”

As Alex’s family tucked in delightfully at her meal, she joked afterwards that she should start selling it.

Alex said: “It was one of those moments. We were all laughing and joking and then after a few drinks it dawned on me that nobody sells sushi around here.”

What started off as a joke half said in jest quickly became a business venture.

Alex said: “It was a couple weeks later when I decided, ‘I’m going to do this!’ and make a bit of money on the side and then go back to uni.”

Alex left school last year to pursue a sport and exercise science degree at the University of Bath in September.

Realising that university during Covid while in her first year was difficult, she went back home: “The experience wasn’t there,” she said. “Everything went online, and I ended up coming back home with the idea to go back next year.”

During the winter, Alex gained a nutrition qualification as she knew it would help her in the long-run with her degree.

Alex got in touch with a branding professional who lived nearby. She said: “Evangeline was amazing she made all my business cards and menus.

“At this point, it was getting very real for me seeing it become a legitimate business.”

Alex started to research packaging ideas as she wants her business to be as sustainable as possible.

“You can go into any supermarket and there’s always sushi wrapped in plastic,” she said. “I didn’t want my sushi to be like that.”

As soon as Alex set up the Instagram page Alex Serves Sushi, her venture skyrocketed. Her page became so popular that she ended up dropping out of uni to purely focus on the business. A friend of hers helped develop an app, Gourmet2Go, to deal with the sheer volume of orders.

Alex has been offered to make sushi for the starter menus at Fantails while also making sushi for dinner parties. The Andalusian in Carlisle is hosting a sushi night on July 15 to feature Alex’s homemade sushi.

Bookings are available.