Online hand-made meal kit business The Little Pasta Company, has secured funding from the Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan Scheme. The £75,000 growth loan will assist the purchase of a new commercial premises and create three new positions within the business.
Due to the popularity of the meal kits and increased product demand, the business needs to scale-up its operations by relocating to a larger more purpose-built facility. The new kitchen will be based in the centre of Woking and will see the addition of two new chefs and an administrative assistant joining the current team.
The premises move will enable the business to offer cooking workshops and, as the UK starts to host outdoor events again the business’ new fully branded food truck will be available for hire nationwide. The company also plans to launch a subscription service later this year.
The Little Pasta Company was established in 2020 by Daniel Webber-Quick. On numerous trips to Italy over a decade with his family, Daniel became immersed in the culture and found himself surrounded by fresh ingredients. From a young age he enjoyed cooking and recently decided to turn this passion into a business. He developed a range of easy to cook Italian hand-made meal kits created from his home kitchen. Orders are placed either via the company’s website or on plateaway.com. The kits are then made to order the evening before and delivered fresh the next day. They provide a nutritious, healthy alternative to ready meals or takeaways and because they contain correctly measured ingredients there is no food wastage.
Daniel Webber-Quick, Founder and Director of The Little Pasta Company, commented: “I wanted to start a business which could offer healthy, fresh, nutritious food which was easy to prepare. The demand for this type of food is on the increase. The EM3 Expansion Loan has given the business the opportunity to be able to meet this demand and to reach more people to further grow. The new food truck will allow us to expand into the events market and the range will be extended with the addition of the subscription service. James at The FSE Group, saw the potential in our business model and I am grateful for his support in securing the funding to drive the business forward.”
Busy modern lifestyles can mean that time spent in the kitchen is decreasing but the demand to maintain a healthier lifestyle is on the increase. In 2018, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) undertook a survey and found that 78% of consumers were focussed on changing their eating habits to achieve a healthier way of life.
James Edwards, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the EM3 Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “The growth in this sector is leading to rising market demand and is expected to continue to increase. Daniel is a focussed, driven manager with over 10 years’ experience in luxury retail management. He has a clear vision for the future of the business as demonstrated in his plan and I am thrilled to be able to help him reach that potential.”
Kathy Slack, MBE, Enterprise M3 LEP, commented: “What a success story; a local business which, in the space of just one year, has had to expand into a purpose built facility to cope with rising demand. Enterprise M3 is focussed on helping the region move toward the goal of net zero and for many people changing what we eat, and reducing food waste, will play a part in that journey. Daniel has found a great way of providing healthy food, with little waste, to an expanding market and I wish him and his team every success.”
The EM3 Expansion Loan Scheme is part of the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, £10million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 LEP. The escalator, which also includes a short-term trade loan scheme and an equity growth 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 across the EM3 area.
For more information about the Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan Scheme please visit https://www.thefsegroup.com/fund/enterprise-m3-funding-escalator/ or contact James Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01276 608531 / 07384 8167
For more information about The Little Pasta Company, visit: https://www.thelittlepastacompany.co.uk/