A West Sussex food firm looking to gain a bigger slice of the pastry market with its award-winning pies has secured £125,000 from the Coast to Capital (C2C) Expansion Loan Scheme to scale-up production and expand into the wholesale market.
Midhurst based Mud Foods has been producing top quality pies, made from locally sourced ingredients, for almost a decade. The business has grown steadily during that time with the majority of sales coming from regular attendance at local farmers’ markets across the South East, supplemented with some wholesale trade. Both avenues now offer expansion opportunities, as Mud owner, Christian Barrington, explains:
“At the moment we produce around 5,000-6,000 Mud pies and sausage rolls each week, which allows us to attend a number of regular weekend markets and fulfil some wholesale orders. Sales have grown steadily year on year and we know there is potential to build this further but our current production facilities are at full capacity. With this latest funding we will be able to increase capacity and more actively target the wholesale market.”
The £125,000 will be used to rearrange the existing unit and install additional cooking/freezing equipment, increasing production to around 15,000 pastry items per week. This will also enable the company to diversify its offering by adding sweet pies to the Mud Foods range.
Jeff Dober, Head of SME Debt Funds at The FSE Group, which manages the C2C Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of C2C Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), comments: “Annual UK pie and pastry sales are at almost £1billion and by using only real butter in the pastry, meat from The Goodwood Estate and vegetables from other local farms, Mud Foods has gained a loyal following and carved itself a niche at the premium end of the market. The management team has now identified a significant growth prospect and we are delighted to support them in achieving the increase in production capacity necessary to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.”
The Coast to Capital Expansion Loan Scheme is part of the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator, a £5million initiative funded by Coast to Capital LEP. The escalator, which also includes a growth equity fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £500,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the Coast to Capital region.