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Food Hub serves up a rich feast

Mortimer chocolate

The Food Technology Enterprise Hub has announced that its clients have raised a total of over £2m in investment to date.

Deborah Irvine, Food Technology Enterprise Hub Manager said, “This success is a result of the entrepreneurial skills of our clients, coupled with the management expertise and Hub services that we offer, which have become powerful tools for leveraging investment.”  

Two companies that have raised significant funds are Harmony Cuisine and the Mortimer Chocolate Company.  

Adrian Smith of the Mortimer Chocolate Company, which received Catalyst Funding from fund managers Finance South East earlier in the year, said “The Food Enterprise Hub has supported Mortimer Chocolate Company since the beginning, so they were the obvious first point of call when it came to seeking investment advice. They helped us develop a business plan with a financial focus, and this became the principal basis for the business achieving a £30,000 Catalyst Fund loan aimed at securing early market presence”

The money will enable Mortimer Chocolate to move forward and secure the large customers and volumes necessary to move to the next stage of development of the business.  Adrian Smith concludes, “It might be just one more step of a long journey, but a helping hand is always appreciated!”  

Paul Mander-O’Beirne of Harmony Cuisine, agrees. They raised finance through a Catalyst Loan earlier this year, after help from the Food Enterprise Hub. The Catalyst Fund - managed by Finance South East - is designed to catalyse early revenue generation in companies that have passed the proof of Concept Stage  

As Paul explains, “Harmony Cuisine provides a unique service to people with long-term conditions and food intolerances.  Credibility is a key factor in our success. We needed the Catalyst Loan to engage registered dieticians to compile evidence based research on how nutrients help or hinder the management of a condition. This research provides customers with a Knowledge Base on how nutrients impact their condition and its symptoms.  We go on to provide meals, sauces, soups and juices which contain nutrients that are beneficial in the management of customers’ own long-term conditions.  Our products are tailored to customers’ specific dietary needs and only contain ingredients they can tolerate  

Raising finance for any start-up business is a fraught and complicated process. The Catalyst Loan could easily have been another mire of application forms and adjudication panels. However, Simon Dale of the Food Enterprise Hub was on hand to be our guide, and with his solution focused approach, we gained funding.”  

Food Technology Hub Director Simon Dale commented, “Both The Mortimer Chocolate Company and Harmony Cuisine are examples of the excellent, innovative companies that are being identified by investors as the success stories of tomorrow. With the help of the Food Technology Hub, both these companies have developed unique businesses with great growth potential – and the fact that both companies have agreed Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme loans (totalling over £200,000) since completing the Catalyst application process reflects that. In both cases the process to secure the Catalyst Fund was a significant part of subsequently securing the SFLG investment. The Enterprise Hub Network is the place to watch today for the major companies of tomorrow.”  

Contact: Simon Dale
Publish Date: 27th February 2008

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