How Martin's vegetables grow
Name: MARTIN HAMILTON
MASH DIRECT LIMITED
Founder and MD Martin Hamilton had been growing and selling vegetables for more than 20 years when he concluded many customers wanted the convenience of pre-prepared vegetables.
He diversified and transformed his wholesale farming business into Mash Direct in Co Down.
Now a market leader, it produces dishes from mashed potato and champ to ready-meals.
It uses steam cooking to retain the taste, texture and nutritional benefits of the vegetables in 32 products, 21 gluten-free.
The customer portfolio is split between food service, industrial ingredient manufacture and retail which, alone, represents 75% of the company's total turnover.
In the last year it has begun supplying Budgens and Ocado.
Sales have grown to over £7m in five years, helping it become an £11m firm employing 121 staff.
Construction on a new 25,000 sq m factory has begun, which will increase capacity by 50% and lead to 33% increase in staff.