Kando cotton candy machines: interview with the owner Mr. Tony Oakes

Today I am visiting Oakes Leisure LTD, we are talking with the owner and CEO of the company Tony Oakes. He produces the best cotton candy machines in England under the brand Kando – he calls it “Rolls Royce in candy floss machines”. Why are his commercial candyfloss machines so good for business? Why is he skeptical of Chinese fairy floss machines? What should be the perfect cotton candy maker?

Tony Oakes Hello! From the West Midlands in the UK, a prime manufacturer of Candy Floss machine. In production for nearly 40 years. Tried and tested and in our opinion nearly beaten down by none! Until…I meet at Mr.Artem. Who has introduced me to the Russian RoboJetFloss Pro Candy Floss machine, manufactured as I just said in Russia

Interviewer Today I am situated in a very specific place and this is a very specific person. A man who product the Rolls Royce of cotton candy business-Kando cotton candy machine. What is your name, Mister?

Tony OakesMy name is Tony Oakes of Oaks Leisure Limited

Interviewer So you are the owner and you are operating director?

Tony Oakes I have joined owner and operating director of Oaks Leisure.

Interviewer How long you work with cotton candy business? Amusement park business?

Tony Oakes Uuuummm..Cotton candy business mainly for 20 years but in the amusement industry for 34 years.

Interviewer Thirty-four! Тридцать четыре года, чуваки! Это на два года старше, чем я. То есть он тоже должен помнить Аллу Пугачеву и Софию Ротару. Но, продолжим..And…Could you give me this story because before going to England I know about only a few international suppliers of cotton candy machine: Cretors RingMaster, Gold Medal EconoFloss, Breeze or something like that. But I never heard about Kando. What is this brand? What’s so good?

Tony Oakes Well, Kando machienes.. we make only one machine per day but we make it well and this is proven to be this success we reveal in a Kando Candy Floss machine

Interviewer Do you make it not on a conveyer, by hands?

Tony Oakes No, each machine is made individually, one at a time, by hand

Interviewer Like Rolls Royce?

Tony Oakes Like Rolls Royce! And now we will show.

Interviewer How no conveyers still? This is a very cool machine!

Tony Oakes And each machine is built to specific

Interviewer Could you give me advice? These machines look a little bit, let’s say it is-old fashioned?

Tony Oakes If it’s not broken – wont fix it!

Interviewer Um, when this machine was invented?

Tony Oakes The machine was invented over 40 years ago.

Interviewer Forty?

Tony Oakes Forty! Four Zero!

Interviewer Wow and the design is still the same?

Tony Oakes Still exactly the same!

Interviewer Woooow, English guys-the like traditions!

Tony Oakes The only thing that we have changed is that now you can remove the outer casing without having to remove the head.

Interviewer So you can go inside?

Tony Oakes You can go inside. Thats the only difference.

Interviewer Why you call it Rolls Royce in the cotton candy business? Why is it so good?

Tony Oakes It’s tired and tested for over 40 years.

Interviewer And how much..how often it breaks?

Tony Oakes Umm..we can’t decide..we cannot do this. It depends on the operator. But very, very, very rarely! But it does happen unfortunately.

Intervewer uh-huh…Yesterday you told me about one guy who has a very old machine.

Tony Oakes Yeah.. over 35 years old. And he still comes in for service.

Interviewer But it still works?

Tony Oakes Still works!

Interviewer 45 years?

Tony Oakes Thirty-five!

Interviewer Oh…

Tony Oakes Yeah, and we still service the machine, regular.

Interviewer So he buys machine 35 years ago…

Tony Oakes Yeah…

Interviewer..have a small service and it still works?

Tony Oakes Still works!

Interviewer This man will never be a billionaire because if he sells equipment which is..doesn’t break, he cannot sell it twice. What do you think about it? You can make something worse. It will be broken in five years, five years is still ok but you can sell it again and again?

Tony Oakes I understand this but you cannot base a reputation on a machine that is not perfect to start with.

Interviewer So you think..uh.. it does not matter of the money, its mostly for reputation?

Tony Oakes Reputation.

Interviewer Have you got competitors here in the UK?

Tony Oakes We have many people that have copied the machine.

Interviewer Copied?

Tony Oakes Copy!

Interviewer Yesterday I went to Farm food called the UK, they put the..100% same machine on the website and said Kando, they offer 4 models and I thought wow the same machine even a different price and I called her and they called me back but after I’ve noticed it is not original.

Tony Oakes No…

Interviewer What is the difference?

Tony Oakes Just basically, the outside cases is just altered slightly to get round, copying it identically. Yeah…

The operating mechanisms are identical but it’s not Kando. But they tried to manufacturer the machine under the name of Kando because of Kando success story.

Interviewer What about reliability?

Tony Oakes Reliability is virtually the same as Kando because again, it is copied.

Interviewer U-huh..they copied eveything?

Tony Oakes They copied everything. But, when machines come back, because they may use, and I emphasize it, may use inferior parts, they come back for repair to say that this is Kando and we want to utilize the Kando guarantee. But as soon as we see the machine, we can now identify that it is not Kando.

Interviewer How you can identify it?

Tony Oakes The shape. The shape and some squares, some are similar.. yeah..so we know immediately and also if we remove case, we also know.

Interviewer Could you give me some idea? When you sell the machine which warranty you use?

Tony Oakes We give 12 months guarantee with the machine and we give 10 months guarantee with the head.

Interviewer 10 months or 10 years?

Tony Oakes 10..so..10 years!

Interviewer 10 years?

Tony Oakes 10 years!

Interviewer With this element?

Tony Oakes Yes, this element inside here. Unless it’s misused.

Interviewer Ummm..its very long

Tony Oakes Very long but very reliable

Interviewer Sooo…If I will make everything right, it will work for 10 years?

Tony Oakes Yeah

Interviewer SO…

Tony Oakes Theoretically…

Interviewer Huh..if people spend money once, so they will work for many many years?

Tony Oakes Many many years. We have many customers that say via telephone that they want to know why theses machines is so expensive. Even though it is priced under 1000 pounds…

Interviewer 1000 pounds?

Tony Oakes Below 1000 pound UK. And they say why are they so expensive when I can buy Chinese machines opposite of 200 pounds. Well, my answer to those is “buy Chinese, buy twice!”

Interviewer Ahaa.. “buy Chinese, buy twice!” In Russia, we say it “I am not so rich to buy extremely cheap equipment”

Tony Oakes Uhum…

Interviewer Because it means once you buy it, you have to replace it again, and again. Could you give me an idea of what’s the price of the final product in Great Britain? I mean cotton candy and how you sell it? Paper cones? Sticks? Packages?

Tony Oakes Yeah we sell, we sell cotton candy, they are suppling bags, they are supplying sticks, paper sticks,  plastic sticks and now in plastics tubs, last-longer-in-tubs you can have 12 months of sell by date on tubs

Interviewer oh… it is your brand, Captain Candy!

Tony Oakes Yes! Capitan Candy

Interviewer Ohhh so nice! Yes, there are 50 grams

Tony Oakes This has been on display for many years

Interviewer Oh really?

Tony Oakes Perhaps we should change it.

Interviewer Ohh yeah..is reduced volume but how it’s not one month – in 3 months

Tony Oakes NO, no, no, no, no..this is may be three years and tight it will last. In polythene bag, it disintegrates in 24 hours.

Interviewer Yes. For example, if I will try to sell cotton candy in the fair ground, how much money I can ask for each cotton candy?

Tony Oakes The average price of cotton candy on a wooden stick including sugar and coloring is roughly about 8 per Uk

Interviewer How much?

Tony Oakes 8 pennies. Cost.

Interviewer Food cost? 8 pennies?

Tony Oakes Yes, food cost.

Interviewer 8 pennies only?

Tony Oakes Yes

Interviewer Wow so cheap.

Tony Oakes If it is in a tub obviously, the price of the tub is very expensive. Retail value of cotton candy on the stick or in polythene bag is one pound.

Interviewer One pound?

Tony Oakes Minimum

Interviewer Minimum?

Tony Oakes Minimum!

Interviewer For example, I want to start this business here, what about taxes, what about some sanitary regulation? How can start this business?

Tony Oakes First of all, you come along, you place your order, your machine is built.

Interviewer Which some certification you provide?

Tony Oakes Of course. Then you come and collect your machine or machine is delivered. Ready to go!

Interviewer I mean if I wanna sell it, do I have to be an entrepreneur or can work as a private person?

Tony Oakes Nooo, private person. Anybody can make candy floss. It’s very very simple!

Interviewer So I mean I can just go on a fair ground, pay some brand, work without any..

Tony Oakes Kind of…Fair grounds, you will not be able to do only on fair grounds. You must understand.

Fair grounds are..they belong to certain people and families that are well prorated by many generations.

Interviewer Many generations?

Tony Oakes Many generations! But what you could do is .. purchase a machine and sell by shops or market stores or car boot sales in the UK

Interviewer But I cannot go to the Carnaval?

Tony Oakes No, Carnivals is family owned business and institutions that’ve been traveling for many many years. It is not possible for outsiders to enter into the amusement industry

Interviewer Oh so conservative market?

Tony Oakes Yeah but freelance you can make candy floss anywhere.

Interviewer And what about In Russia usually we work on a big celebration for example Victory Day. Its a big celebration on the main square and everyone can go to the “municipality” pay some rent, taxes and have a place 2 meters by 2 meters and electricity. Is it possible to work?

Tony Oakes Yeah, same

Interviewer Oh ok..so Carnival and Fair Ground are like a monopole with people who work for many many generations. And some big celebrations its ok?

Tony Oakes It’s ok. You can also hire for birthday parties..uh.. weddings

Interviewer Oh really?

Tony Oakes Yeah, it’s no problem.

Interviewer This industry in Russia is just in the beginning. I mean birthdays and wedding because it’s very new. And what about the UK, is it common things?

Tony Oakes I am sorry..can you?

Interviewer Common…

Tony Oakes Candy floss? yeah, now it is yes, it’s getting bigger every year. It’s a different idea, for children and wedding, when they stop dashing around.

Interviewer What do you think about the future of this business? and the future of entrepreneurs? um…I ask you that’s why..is it profitable.. can I pay all my bills, my family, my mortgage only with this business or its too small for this?

Tony Oakes No, if you are prepared to put in the hours and do the work, the rewards are viable at the end.

Interviewer So it can be..it can feed me and my family..and what about..

Tony Oakes Depending on where you operate from.

Interviewer Yes, of course. How much force you can..

Tony Oakes Obviously…Exactly

Interviewer Can you give me your vision..in Russia the biggest problem when you start this business, and you successful and you wanna open another booth, is that thief-people who operate it, they steal money. What about here? If I will hire some operator and he will work in cotton candy in Russia he will steal up to 70% of my money.

Tony Oakes Yeah? I cannot comment on that in the UK.

Interviewer Yeah? In Russia, it’s very easy to break rules…

Tony Oakes Yes…

Interviewer And what about here?

Tony Oakes No, the rules in the UK get stronger every year and we tend to obey by the rules in the UK.

Interviewer UMMM…Ok, Last question. Just imagine, here some guy from Siberia, some small town, he is sitting and thinking “hmm, this guy tells that its very profitable, 8 pennies, so small, I want to start this business and he goes to the internet and he will find some extra cheap equipment, which advice you can give this young guy who doesn’t know the difference but thinking about buying something extra cheap.

Tony Oakes ok…These are the machines to buy, do not buy cheap inferior machines from the Far East

Interviewer Because there are only Chinese guys who can make always flowers and shapes on this video. To be honest, I was in China and it was very difficult for me to find someone in Hong Kong who can operate it. I heard that some guys visited other cities in China and they found some masters but even in China its not a common thing. It’s like for show, something like that, it looks very good on a video but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to buy extra cheap Chinese equipment and try to make cotton candy floss. It looks like this equipment for flosses much more expensive.

What do you think about these flowers, they are so popular! Do you think that the future of the industry or future will be something more like simple?

Tony Oakes Simple is always the right way to go for all the novelty. Candy floss is a thing, is a fantastics while forward if people prepared, put the time and learn how to do it.

Interviewer Ok, thank you for your time, thank you for your attention and thank for these your advices to young guys.

Tony Oakes Thank you!

Interviewer Buy guys!

Tony Oakes Bye!


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