Plans to develop new products and grow its customers base are on the menu for a County Durham food producer after its new management team brought in significant outside investment to support its expansion.
Redemption Food manufactures a range of fresh soups, stews, sauces and fruit toppers which are sold to well-known High Street Coffee shops, restaurants , other food outlets and wholesalers right across the UK.
The new Redemption management team has now attracted a £100,000 investment from the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund that is run by NEL Fund Managers, as well as a further £550,000 from Secure Trust Bank and ABN Amro Bank
Led by Managing Director Robert Clarke and Commercial Director Mark Crow, the management team is aiming to double Redemption’s annual turnover over the next five years to around £7m.
To meet this objective, they plan to train and develop their growing 30-strong workforce as well as creating opportunities for further employment for the local catchment area.
A range of new products, including dressings, stocks, jams and products made with protein substitutes for meat reducers and vegetarians are now in development, while opportunities to sell them through both existing and new customers are also being investigated.
Plans to introduce Redemption-branded products into High Street stores are also now being implemented, while increasing the amount of business done with customers in the care home sector is to be made a priority.
Founded in 2004, Redemption Food initially focused on making fresh soups before branching out in sauces and ‘stew’ meals such as spaghetti bolognaise.
All its foods are made by trained chefs in batches which are sized to suit the needs of the recipe, rather than just being made as cost-efficiently as possible, and ingredients are sourced both fresh and locally wherever possible.
Neil Large corporate partner at Lupton Fawcett LLP acted for the team on the finance raising and investment process.
Robert Clarke, Managing Director at Redemption Food, says: “Redemption Food has a long history of creating and supplying high quality products, and with all the expertise of our new management team in place, we’re now in a great position to build on these solid foundations.
“The soup market has seen a real renaissance in the last few years as people have increasingly recognised it as a healthy meal option, and there are a whole gamut of new outlets through which we believe we can sell our high quality soups that have barely been tapped by anyone so far.
“We’re already working on a range of openings with well-known High Street outlets which will take us into new territory, and we’re very confident that the products which we’re developing will open new revenue streams through both existing and new customers.
“Our aim is to double our turnover within a five-year period, and we realised that seeking outside investment was the right way in which to give us the resources we needed to achieve this goal.
“NEL Fund Managers were recommended to us by industry contacts, and the investment we’ve now secured gives us the platform we believe we need to fulfil The Redemption Food Company’s undoubted potential.”
David Thomas, investment manager at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “The new Redemption Food management team set out a clear vision for how they want to see the business develop, and it has the commercial knowledge, industry contacts and manufacturing expertise to deliver it.”
Neil Large, corporate partner at Lupton Fawcett LLP, says: “It was a pleasure to work with Rob and Mark on the deal which required careful negotiation with multiple lenders and investors. Rob and Mark have big plans to grow Redemption’s operations and product offering and I’m look forward to working with them on the strategic expansion”
Established by holding fund manager North East Finance (NEF) in 2010, the £159.5m Finance for Business North East (FBNE) programme is a suite of seven venture capital and loan funds which provide investment for start-up and growing businesses in the North East of England. They will continue investing until 2016, and aim to support 950 companies and to create or safeguard almost 10,000 jobs.
A new £4m extension to the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund was recently confirmed, and NEL is actively looking to speak to more North East businesses about securing investment from it to help them put development plans into action.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.