Reading based team, Tim Rhodes & Karen Jenkins, have recently secured £300,000 from Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator (TVB) to further grow, develop and expand their unique outdoor business.
The business was established by the team in 2011, when the duo spotted a gap in the market for outdoor cooking. Enjoying rural life themselves and having their own young family, they understood the need for being able to feed yourself a variety of different meals whilst also keeping warm outdoors. When both of these needs are met, enjoying the great outdoors can be so much more fun.
They invented and developed their versatile outdoor cooking stove, Aquaforno. Able to cater for a variety of different meals within the one solution, negating the need to transport multiple outdoor cooking appliances like BBQ’s, hot water tanks and small grill appliances.
This high-end specialist outdoor cooking stove is both easily portable, and collapsible. It features a multi-fuel BBQ, grill, pizza oven, rotisserie and smoker. In addition, once meals are cooked, they can be kept warm in the storage facility meaning families can all eat together. The Aquaforno cooking stove is also the only outdoor cooker on the market which has an integral boiler, ensuring hot drinks are available on tap.
Their patented product prevents competitors from manufacturing telescopic cookers with a boiler functionality. This patent covers Northern Europe and patent pending in the United States.
Once mealtimes are done, Aquaforno’s design neatly collapses to store away the stove in its space saving back-pack, ready for the next day or to transport back home.
Tim Rhodes, Co-Founder of AquaForno Ltd, commented “We are immensely proud of Aquaforno and its unique position in the market-place. The £300,000 which has been secured will help us further grow and expand our business, allowing us to strengthen both the Management Team and our back-office support. We have enjoyed varied PR coverage, endorsements and received recognition via awards and are looking forward to the future, developing a content strategy and extending our reach across social media, taking the brand to the next level.”
Cheryl Weeks, Head of Funds, South East for The FSE Group, commented: “It was a pleasure to be able to reach out and support this exciting, unique business. The Aquaforno brand is the key to the success and growth of this business. Tim & Karen are both passionate and dedicated individuals who will use this loan to continue developing brand awareness globally to promote Aquaforno.”
TVB Expansion Loan Scheme is part of TVB Funding Escalator, an £11.3m initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP. The escalator, which also includes a Trade Finance Loan Scheme and a Growth Equity Fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.