Belfast Telegraph

Christmas arrives early for Co Down stuffing company

By Margaret Canning

A fast-growing food business in Co Down is moving from pasties to turkey dinner trimmings following a £600,000 cash injection. The headcount at TS Foods in Castlewellan will also grow from 49 to 69 after it won new custom for its chilled stuffings.

Stuffings from TS Foods — founded by husband-and-wife team Tony and Ann Steele in the late 1970s — will now be stocked in Tesco and Asda.

Invest NI has offered £99,100 towards the company’s investment in new staff, of which two will be senior management positions.

Commercial director Joanne Molloy — the daughter of the company’s founders — said they would sell branded and private label stuffings to the supermarkets under the new deal. 

It was a “very exciting development” for the company in a market it had targeted for growth, she said.

Mrs Molloy added: “As well as the significant support for our investment in new plant, machinery and equipment, Invest  NI’s food marketing advisory service in Britain helped us to pinpoint and exploit the developing business opportunity there for our new product.”

She said the investment would also open up opportunities for suppliers as over 40% of the goods and services associated with the expansion would be sourced locally.

Invest NI food and tourism director John Hood said the company’s new deals would boost its market presence in Great Britain. He said: “Our assistance is enabling this successful and ambitious business to expand its processing and storage facilities for the new business in Britain for an innovative stuffing product. The new products offer shoppers a fresh alternative in line with the growing demand for such quality meals that combine convenience, provenance and value for money.”

One of TS Foods’ best-known convenience foods is the Tony’s Chippy Pastie. 

The company also makes southern fried chicken and battered sausages and burgers for retail, business to business and catering.

Belfast Telegraph

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