Food and drink entrepreneurs offered recipe for successful growth with innovative scheme
Date published: 16 February 2022
Rijul Shikla, founder of 100% plant based Indian curry company Spice Story based in Manchester, went on the course last year
Ambitious Rochdale food and drink producers that are keen to grow their brand can now get expert help thanks to the return of a popular GC Business Growth Hub programme.
The Hub’s ‘Recipe4Success’ scheme has supported hundreds of small food and drink operators to develop and raise the profile of their business, since it started in 2015.
Previous programmes have helped fledgling Greater Manchester firms get their products stocked in department stores such as Selfridges, and in specialist and independent retailers.
Rijul Shikla, founder of 100% plant-based Indian curry company Spice Story based in Manchester, went on the course last year.
His products are now stocked on the shelves of 10 different stores across the north west, including the hugely popular Kenyon Hall Farm in Warrington.
Rijul said: “One of the best decisions I made last year was joining Recipe4Success. It massively helped me in moving towards the retail side of the business and getting stocked in shops.
“The workshops were super helpful and the network you create through the programme is invaluable. If you are a food and drink business it is not to be missed.”
Recipe4Success is open to start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses who are in their first three years of trading and based in Greater Manchester.
The next programme starts on 22 March. Places are limited and businesses need to register their interest at www.businessgrowthhub.com/recipe4success.
The three-month scheme consists of a tailored series of nine workshops and networking events designed to help businesses overcome barriers and succeed. It is fully funded - meaning businesses who are accepted onto the scheme do not pay any costs.
Businesses will be supported by a team of experts who will help with everything from how to approach and pitch to buyers, to digital marketing, demystifying regulatory guidelines and branding.
At the end of the programme, participants get the chance to pitch their product to a panel of buyers. Previous panels have included the likes of Morrisons and Tesco.
Participants will also learn about packaging, labelling, sustainability, and receive advice on sales and marketing with a session including food photography for social media.
Another recent graduate is Dan Wright, founder of Hideaway Brewing Co based in Worsley.
He lost his job during the pandemic and turned his hobby into a business by launching his own craft beer.
Dan said: “I would definitely recommend that anyone starting a small food or drink business should attend the Recipe4Success workshops.
“Having access to a number of knowledgeable folk just makes life easy when you have so many things to think about and the experts guided us to achieve maximum impact in a shorter period of time.
“Thanks to Recipe4Success, we have been able to start our business on the right track and have built strong foundations for our operations, sales and safety."
Recipe4Success is managed and delivered by the Hub, which is part of the Growth Company and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Head of Start-up and Growth at the Hub, Hilary Centeleghe, said: “Recipe4Success offers our region’s most innovative and ambitious food and drink businesses the help and support they need to take the next step.
“Our teams have helped producers to win prestigious national awards and get stocked online, locally, in national stores and even restaurants.
“This programme provides expert support and guidance for a food and drink business that wants to scale up and reach new customers.”
Others who have benefitted include drinks firms Four Sisters distillery and Didsbury Gin; specialist sauce companies Amal’s Pantry and Africa Al’s, and vegan sweet treats business Raw Bake Station.
The next Recipe4Success programme will be officially launched on 2 March at Kampus, in Manchester and will offer interested businesses the opportunity to meet some of the specialists leading the workshops.
This and other GC Business Growth Hub projects are part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the GM Business Growth Hub project designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester.
The hub is also supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester local authorities.
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