Luck of the Irish: Canberra's LollyPotz adds a touch of sweetness to Ireland

Jessica Schumann
Lollypotz CEO and mother of two boys, Louise

Lollypotz CEO and mother of two boys, Louise Curtis

Over the weekend, LollyPotz went global, (no , not lollipops…Lollypotz — as in the chocolate bouquets and gift boxes), launching its first European franchise…in Ireland to be more exact. Successfully taking on the floristry industry, the Australian chocolate and gift supplier is all about the sweet tooth.

Sending its first bouquet of sweet deliciousness in 2009, Lollypotz is the second ‘business baby’ for CEO Louise Curtis and her husband Mathew, and has since grown into a flourishing franchised operation with two new franchises set to open in North Perth and Wollongong alongside its already 16 Australian operations,  two distribution centres (Sydney and Canberra) and of course, the recently launched franchise in the UK.

Louise says the decision to create a business all about sweets and chocolates was deliberate but has joked in the past about being an accidental success story despite turning over $2 million within the first six months of trading during the global financial crisis.

“The company’s first four years in franchising were challenging…but the business has gone from strength to strength,” says the mother of two who juggled raising two sons while establishing a second business.

Her potz bring just as much happiness and joy as those who are gifted bouquets of blooms with the Favourites bouquet, a purple bouquet presented with Cadbury favourites, loved by both men and women. But it is the Moet Classic Lollypotz that always hits the spot for Louise.

“Moet champagne surrounded by chocolate—two of my favourite things!” says Louise.

Louise’s two favourite things, champagne and chocolate, come together in the Moet Classic.

With intentions to open 70 franchise stores, Louise is confident that after a year in the planning phase her decision to expand into the United Kingdom was the right one.

“The decision to open in Ireland rather than a larger market, for example London, was not an easy one,” she says.

“But opening in Ireland is providing us with a strong, affordable base for a soft launch into the European market, and our intention is to grow from there.”

Having followed the brand’s success, the rights to the Lollypotz brand in the UK and Ireland have been sold to an Irish couple who previously lived in Canberra for some time, and now it’s only a matter of time before they soon discover their own favourite Lollypotz.

Fortunate that they are able to source many of the big-ticket Australian brands in the UK, there have only been some slight changes to the Potz to cater for the Irish and European market.


Having a Halloween party? Why not decorate with some creepy chocolate potz?

Louise explains that although Lollypotz designers aren’t required to have formal qualifications just creative flair, she emphasises that when it comes to franchising it’s about selling to the right people.

“I realised that not everybody who purchased a franchise has the same business values and work ethics as I do,” Louise says.

“We have learnt a lot and our selection criteria are now far more stringent.”

You might think that a bouquet of lollies is rather gluttonous, but like any business or product, there are always going to be those who love it and those who don’t. For Lollypotz it’s been nothing but smiles, gratitude and of course, the occasional odd request.

“We often have people suggest that our product is an indulgence and that’s what we love about it,” says Louise.

“We don’t suggest you eat them all at once, in fact we think they look far better than if they’re not eaten at all!”

A gift that is universally loved not to mention a great gift for men, the ideas are endless of what to include in a Lollypotz are endless.

“With our Design your own service, we have designed an ‘Oranges and Lemons’ bouquet for a fruit company, and just last week created a ‘Pickled Bouquet’ containing jars of pickles for customer who just loves pickles!” she says.

So how does one woman grow an idea into a multimillion dollar and now international business?

Initially, it was a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ scenario, making up the rules as they went along, but since then the company has invested significant funds in technology to incorporate a fully-integrated ordering/franchise owners management system.

Yet despite its huge franchising success, it is Louise’s two-time win at the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in 2008 and 2013 that stand out for her as one of her proudest achievements.

“Women now have far more opportunities and are now considered as equals—as they should be,” Louise says.

“There are many women who lead the way to inspire them and show them that anything is achievable. Female mentorship is a key to driving further success by women.”


Jessica Schumann

A 'rambling ranga' at heart, Jessica Schumann is a bubbly, creative social thinker who thrives on words, social media and an innate knack for sharing stories. When she finds the time to write, Jessica seeks out the beauty in change and the essence of human condition. Varied and diverse in nature, her writing delves into the enviable world of people, travel, food and culture. When you can't find her in a nook writing, just follow your nose and you’ll soon find Jessica indulging in her other passion – cooking – or curled up on the couch with a good book in hand. You can find her over at More about the Author

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