MD Ian Downes sees potential in food, gifting, publishing, homewares, personalised products, kitchenware and greeting cards.

Start Licensing to cook up a storm with Chef & Sue

Start Licensing is to represent License This finalist Chef & Sue.

Created by Ann Edwards, Chef & Sue is a cartoon starring Chef a scruffy little dog and Sue a well groomed ginger cat. They live somewhere in middle England, where Champagne is always on offer and shopping is a competitive sport. Chef and Sue is a gentle social satire with added Cheese jokes. Their mission statement is to ‘Cheer the world’.

Chef & Sue is best known as a weekly, full-colour cartoon strip that appears in the Waitrose newspaper.
It has a very distinctive visual style which stands out off the page. The cartoons are humorous with pithy one liners and are very topical covering themes like food, cookery, wine and entertaining.

Its creator Ann Edwards is a well known artist and illustrator who has a great track record of success and has a proven commercial appeal with her artwork regularly being licensed by a range of licensees in the UK and overseas.

Chef & Sue was a finalist in Brand License Europe’s License This competition; a competition for which Start Licensing’s Ian Downes was chairman of judges.

Downes commented: "I was aware of Chef & Sue before License This from its regular appearances in the Waitrose newspaper. So I was pleasantly surprised to see it was entered in the License This competition. I felt it was a strong property because of the exposure it had and the themes featured in the stories. The judges all felt that Chef & Sue had a lot of potential and placed it in the final. Having seen the property close up and learning more about it from Ann I was keen to explore it further. So I approached Ann after BLE and am delighted that we have reached an agreement to represent the property.

"I think Chef & Sue has great potential in areas like food, gifting, publishing, homewares, personalised products, kitchenware and greeting cards. It will fit well in our portfolio and has an originality that licensees will find appealing.

"Chef & Sue is Ann’s creation and she produces all of the artwork for it. This will allow us to work closely with her to create some bespoke artwork and product ideas for licensees. We think this will have a real commercial benefit and create some great retail opportunities. I think the fact we have reached agreement to represent a property showcased at License This confirms the value of the competition and the exposure it gives to new properties. I am pleased that License This allowed me to make the connection with Ann."

Edwards added: ‘It was fun entering the License This competition. It made me think about what and why I was drawing Chef and Sue. Working with Ian is a pleasure and I am sure he will be able to build a licensing programme to share Chef and Sue with their legion of fans. When we first met he also had on some really silly boots which I think is important for your licensing agent."

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