Online confectionary retailer Sweet King has announced plans to more than double its staff numbers, from 23 to about 50 people, while simultaneously doubling sales over the next 12 months.

Sweet King has recently taken over an 11,000 square foot unit in Little Island, Co Cork - the former Xerox building - where €100,000 has been invested across infrastructure and staff facilities.

The company's founder, 26-year old Nathan Adams, said the business has experienced phenomenal growth since it was set up just as Covid-19 was getting a firm grip on the nation in June 2020.

Sweet King reported €1.6m in sales for last year, which was well beyond the company's best estimates.

It sold 150,000 bags of sweets to over 50,000 customers online over the past 12 months.

"Our plan for the remainder of this year is to launch into retail. We are talking with a number of supermarket stores and distributors. We plan, over time, to have Sweet King products available in all the major chains," Nathan Adams said.

With ambitions to achieve a €5m annual turnover within the next three to five years, Sweet King will continue to extend its geographical footprint beyond Ireland and the UK into the wider EU territory.

Mr Adams said that Brexit did present problems for the company in terms of getting goods into Ireland, but it solved that pretty quickly by setting up a base in Northern Ireland and channelling product into the Republic from there.

"Over the next six to nine months, we're planning to take on a second warehouse in the UK. As things stand with Brexit, we can't ship direct to the UK, so having a base over there makes sense as part of our future plans," he added.

Internal market data from the online sweet sellers has revealed the people of Cork as the leading consumers of the sweets, followed by people in Dublin, Tipperary and Limerick.