Belfast Telegraph

Newry sandwich firm Around Noon creating 94 jobs

Pictured are Gareth Chambers, CEO, Around Noon with Howard Farquhar, Chairman, Around Noon and Grainne McVeigh, Director of Scaling, Invest NI.
Pictured are Gareth Chambers, CEO, Around Noon with Howard Farquhar, Chairman, Around Noon and Grainne McVeigh, Director of Scaling, Invest NI.

NEWRY-based sandwich and snack food specialist Around Noon has announced a £7m expansion, creating 94 jobs.

The company said the investment is part of a major drive to develop its sales in Great Britain and in the Republic.

Founded by Sheila Chambers in her kitchen some 30 years ago, Around Noon now produces and distributes a range of ‘food-to-go’ and bakery products under the Scribbles, Sweet Things and So Natural brands.

It also provides a bespoke design and packaging service for clients which want to sell under their own brand name.

The firm currently employs 328 people at facilities in Newry, Dublin and Slough.

Sheila’s son Gareth, who now heads the company, said:“Our goal is to become the UK and Ireland’s leading manufacturer of premium ‘food on the move’. We are targeting markets in Great Britain and Republic of Ireland and aim to increase sales outside Northern Ireland by over £13m per annum over the next couple of years.

“We are investing in management, key staff and business development activities. The support from Invest NI will enable us to realise our growth plans and ensure that the Northern Ireland economy benefits.”

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Economic support agency Invest NI has offered £592,000 in grant aid toward 54 of the new jobs, which include a number of posts at director and manager level.

The funding will also assist in marketing developing activity and the implementation of a new production management system to drive efficiency improvements in the company and help it to scale.

Invest NI’s director of scaling, Grainne McVeigh, said: “Invest NI is keen to support companies with potential to scale, based on a focused export strategy.

“Around Noon took part in our Leadership 4 Growth international transformation programme which has helped its management team develop the skills and strategies that will take the company to the next level.

“As well as supporting some of the jobs created by this investment, we are supporting the implementation of an integrated production management system to enable Around Noon to increase control over production yields, manufacturing processes and inventory.

“Around Noon has grown from a small family business to a company with a multi-million pound turnover and with this investment will be well placed to take advantage of further opportunities in the ‘food-to-go’ market within Great Britain and Ireland.”

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