Paul Arthur, Investment Manager
Richmond-based food manufacturing company Holmesterne Foods has expanded its product range to include meat-free alternatives since receiving a £250,000 investment from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
The business, which was established 33 years ago, produces raw and cooked meats, frozen vegetables and ready meals. The company sells to ready meal manufacturers, foodservice, the diet industry and supermarkets such as Asda.
Staffing has increased by six people at its Brompton in North Yorkshire site, where the meat-free products are being produced in a separate facility in order to prevent cross-contamination, with the creation of more jobs becoming increasingly likely as demand for the products grows. The meat-free alternatives, used with a mushroom base, are already attracting interest from large customers especially with the recent launch of a meat free sausage roll in the Asda hot deli counters .
NPIF’s loan has also enabled the company to expand its Leeming Bar production facility, creating 14 jobs and allowing the purchase of new equipment and machinery.
Keith Tindell, Managing Director at Holmesterne Foods said: “Holmesterne Foods take pride in adapting to consumers’ needs and with meat-free alternatives on the rise, we have been able to utilize the loan by creating our own range of products. Not only this, but this new source of capital has also allowed us to create new jobs across both our facilities, scale up our operations and successfully fulfill an influx of new business. We’re now in an excellent position for further growth and we are excited to see how our new products will be received by the market.”
Paul Arthur, Investment Manager at Mercia, added: “Holmesterne Foods is a successful, independent business with a reputation for high quality products. The company’s strengths lie in its focus on quality and its flexible approach. Although it started out as a butchery business, it has grown and flourished by offering innovative products and is constantly developing new offerings to meet changing market tastes. This investment has allowed it to diversify ever further and meet the growing demand for vegan food.”
Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank said: “NPIF is proud to support businesses across the North of England which demonstrate a clear and ambitious growth strategy. As a result of the investment, Holmesterne Foods has been able to enter new markets and increase staffing, and the company is now primed for even further expansion.”
David Dickson, Deputy Chair of York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP said: “The UK is currently engaged in earnest in the climate change debate. A significant focus of this debate is on the consumption of meat products. We are huge supporters of Yorkshire meat farmers and it is also fantastic to see innovation from farming businesses like Holmesterne. Businesses will need to make huge adaptations to the changing consumer markets and NPIF funding is perfectly aligned to support those who are responding to these demands.”