Self-made businesswoman from the University of Exeter, 19, wins a prestigious award

| Ellie LLwellyn/@graigcoffi

Ellie Llewellyn, a marketing student at the University of Exeter, started up two businesses, the first being GRAIG COFFI and the second Otterllie & Co. This year, she won the Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce’s 30 Under 30 campaign.

When lockdown was enforced in 2020, Ellie Llewellyn started up a business in her hometown of Cardiff. After realising that people were beginning to discover a new walking route through her family’s farm, Llewellyn began selling hot chocolate to people. From here, her business developed further to also sell coffee and other drinks.

Her business, GRAIG COFFI, now is recognised by borough of Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. In the future, Llewellyn plans to organise pop up events to increase brand awareness which will be advertised on her social media accounts.

Llewellyn commends “the power of social media” in helping to grow her businesses. After setting up business social media accounts, Llewellyn began to gain more customers.

Through her two Instagram business accounts, @graigcoffi & @otterlie, Llewellyn has been able to extend her reach all over Cardiff. Her social media pages include several competitions with prizes to win for charity, special drinks as well as special events.

“The university has been amazing in supporting me”

Llewellyn praises the support from the University of Exeter’s entrepreneurial programmes. The Exeter ‘Startup Scheme,’ which is available to Exeter students from all campuses, trains students in setting up and running a business. The university, through this scheme, has even allowed Llewellyn to pitch, extending her reach further.

While there can be days with low sales, Llewellyn stresses to “just start and give it a go.” Llewellyn claims that making the decision to begin a business is “the main hurdle people need to overcome.” The university can help ease any challenges in time management and balancing studies with work.


Aspiring entrepreneurs can book a place in the Student Startups weekly drop-in Q&A sessions via Microsoft Teams by emailing the Student Startup team.

Further information on the University of Exeter ‘Startup Scheme’ can be found here.