A Leeds dad who came up with an idea for a food business while baking with his young son has secured a £250,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), to help meet demand from major supermarkets.
Greg Fraser set up the Bottled Baking Co in 2018 after recognising the difficulties in assembling and weighing all the different ingredients. Working from his kitchen, he started making baking kits with the help of friends and family and selling them at local markets. He sold out on the first day and was subsequently approached by buyers from the big stores.
The products – which are all hand-made in Yorkshire, are now stocked by hundreds of retailers across the UK including John Lewis, Selfridges, Fenwick, Ocado. He has recently also agreed a contract with M&S to produce kits for Colin the Caterpillar and Percy the Pig products.
Greg gave up his full-time job as a business analyst at the start of year to focus on growing the company. The Bottled Baking Co now employs five staff and has recently moved out of Greg’s kitchen and into new premises in Leeds. The funding will allow it to meet increased demand and create four new jobs.
Greg Fraser, who is the CEO of the company, said: “It’s fabulous to see our baking mixes on the shelves of the big stores. When my son saw our products in our local M&S recently, he was so excited that he ran over and shouted, ‘Look, there they are!’ From a part-time business based in the kitchen, the company has undergone a step change this year and the loan will help us to continue the momentum.”
Andy Clough of Mercia added: “The Bottled Baking Co has been a remarkable success story from the start. The products have proved so popular that Greg has had to do little in the way of pro-active selling as buyers have beaten a path to his door. The funding will provide working capital to support its rapid growth.”
Mark Roberts, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and NPIF SOB member, said: “We have ambitious plans to create a strong economy in West Yorkshire – to boost growth, create well-paid jobs and help the region prosper.”
“Ensuring firms have the investment they need to succeed is a key part of this, and this loan from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will help the Bottled Baking Co scale up even faster to meet the significant demand for its products.”
“The North needs more ambitious businesses like this, backed with the finance and support they need to grow, and we are determined to help make that happen. This is levelling up in action.”
Ben Merrick of YB Financial Advisory provided fundraising advice to the company.
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.