Belfast Telegraph

Newry firm wins £750k fund to grow sandwich business

By Emma Deighan

Newry firm Around Noon has secured a £750,000 loan from the Growth Loan Fund just days after announcing that it will rebrand its recently acquired London-based food supply business.

The loan, which is a part of a £50m pool reserved for SMEs seeking access to growth finance, will help Around Noon achieve its ambitious plans, as set out in its 'To the Moon 2021' strategy.

The company, which dates back to 1989 when it began as a kitchen table project of convenience sandwiches, employs over 300 staff and has spread its wings to London after taking over Chef in a Box, which it will rebrand with its own name.

Its product portfolio has grown significantly over the years to include protein pots, press juices, filled croissants and bakery goods. It also offers a brunch and afternoon tea selection amounting to some 60 items.

Gareth Chambers, CEO of Around Noon, said: "This loan will help us invest in developing our IT systems and infrastructure and will help us to further develop our newly acquired London operation.

"In the next five years we want to grow our turnover significantly and the backing of the Growth Loan Fund will help make this a reality."

Jenna Mairs, Investment Manager at WhiteRock Capital Partners, which manages the fund, said: "Around Noon has experienced a high level of growth in a very short timeframe. The acquisition of Chef in the Box shows the ambition of the owners to strengthen the brand and gain a major foothold in the food sector.

"Consumers are increasingly looking for healthier on-the-go alternatives and Gareth has identified a very lucrative market to diversify the company's product offering. There are exciting times ahead for the business as it continues to build towards its five year strategy."

Speaking about the company's future, Gareth said: "We have got a solid five-year growth plan (called To The Moon 2021) and we're excited about the future."

The Growth Loan Fund has been provided by Invest Northern Ireland and private investors, Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC).

Companies seeking funding from the Growth Loan Fund must be based in Northern Ireland, demonstrating growth and generally be in the manufacturing, engineering or tradable services sectors.

Belfast Telegraph

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