A teenager, who started chopping up wood for his family's log burner three years ago, now has his own fully fledged business serving the whole of Wirral.

Alex O'Brien was just 14 when his parents bought a burner for their home in Irby village.

Now 17, the Wirral Met Student explains how what started off as a hobby to help his dad, quickly turned into a successful enterprise.

Speaking to the Globe, he said: "It was originally a hobby to do after school for our own log burner we had recently installed, as we struggled to find a retail shop where the kindling wasn’t wet or damp.

"Dad brought home broken pallet blocks to burn. After making some damaged pallets into kindling I quickly had more than I needed for our own us so I ordered net bags off ebay and started selling them to people on a Facebook page.

"I slowly gained a small following as well as a customer base in my local area."

After starting his venture in January 2019, by the end of the year he had built a workshop on the side of his house with his dad, so they could ramp up production.

Alex was able to buy his own van when he was just 16

Alex was able to buy his own van when he was just 16

Alex quickly realised that no one else in Wirral seemed to be offering his service, with a low price and offering free delivery and pack of fire-lighters with every order.

With business booming, the teenager was struggling to keep up with demand as he was still chopping up the wood by hand.

Using his hard-earned revenue, he invested £500 in a machine to split the pallets which sped up from process.

For the first two years of trading, Alex' dad used his large car to drive him around to make deliveries.

But by the time he was 16, he had made enough money to buy, tax and insure his own van.

With that came an expansion to his product range, which now included smokeless coal, kiln dried hardwood oak logs & fire-lighters.

"In the summer months I have also been making Railway Style sleeper benches, which proved very popular," he said.

Alex has now turned his skills to making bespoke garden furniture

Alex has now turned his skills to making bespoke garden furniture

Business is now so good for Alex that has since stopped making the kindling himself and now buys it in for distribution across the borough.

He has also built a much larger storage unit in his back garden, to store all of his stock, ready for delivery.

The company, called Alex's Kindling, now proudly sells over 20 tonnes of smokeless coal in the winter season & offers a range of quality solid fuels to the public across the Wirral all year round as well as railway sleepers and whisky barrels in the summer season.

When the Globe asked Alex about his ambitions for the future, he said: "My ambitions are to further grow this business into a nationwide company, offering quality fuels all over the UK at an affordable price to the public & trade."

Alex also offered a bit of advice to any other young entrepreneurs who are thinking of starting up their own business.

He added: "My dad always says every big business started somewhere and you can achieve anything if your willing to put in the work.

"Don’t think it’s impossible, or you need a vast amount of money. I started with broken pallets!"

To find out more, visit kindlingalex.co.uk