Former ice cream man gives job the cold shoulder to launch million pound business

Picture by Adam Fradgley 
pictured at his office & store unit is Julius Oliveti in Old - Northamptonshire NNL-161213-175348001

Picture by Adam Fradgley pictured at his office & store unit is Julius Oliveti in Old - Northamptonshire NNL-161213-175348001

4
Have your say

A Northamptonshire businessman has turned his back on his ice cream van to launch million-pound gadget company.

Julius Oliveti of Old was running his family’s ice-cream business back in Leicester 10 years ago when he decided to launch an online toy and gadget business called Lupo.

Inspired by trading cards, he started to sell them online from his home and soon set up his business, which has produced an annual turnover of more than £1 million.

Speaking to the Chronicle & Echo Mr Oliveti, who is recently married, recognised that the trading cards used to sell well in his ice-cream van.

The newly-wed said: “I saw that the number of impulse purchases was slowly going down, and that sales soon wouldn’t be sufficient to provide for the family that we hoped to have. Sadly, the ice cream business didn’t seem to be where my fortune was to be made.

“I chose small, easy to store products due to our lack of space. I dreamed about starting our family in a lovely big house but that just wasn’t possible unless my new business took off. In no time at all, I found that the small box room I’d been working from and storing my stock in was filled to capacity. The stock soon spread throughout the house and into the garage. Sales were taking off quickly - it just snowballed – but we had a major issue with storage.

Initial success selling trading cards then prompted the businessman to expand and he soon began to sell gadgets that included phone cases and adaptors on the web.

In 2007, the entrepreneur began to sell on Amazon and he claims the family home “looked more like a warehouse.”

Mr Oliveti soon found his products ranking highly in Amazon’s electronics bestsellers list as his customer feedback started to average at 97 percent.

With help from Amazon, Lupo has grown from a turnover of £200,000 in 2007 to more than £1 million today and now sells in France, Italy and Germany.

He adds: “We live in our dream home in an idyllic village, perfect for raising a family. It allows me to provide for my family. I can’t ask for more. I get to spend every lunchtime at home with my two young boys. It’s the life I always dreamed of.”