Belfast Telegraph

Sandwich firm has right ingredients for expansion

By Symon Ross

A sandwich company has shown its appetite for expansion by creating 41 new jobs as part of a multi-million pound investment designed to increase sales in new markets.

The Brunch Box Sandwich Company — which produces ‘food to go’ products such as pre-packed sandwiches, wraps, salads and ready meals to retail and food service customers — is backed by Invest Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the company’s production facilities in Dundonald, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “This is a strategic investment by an ambitious company which will help to expand sales outside Northern Ireland and more than double turnover by 2012. The Brunch Box has already developed an impressive portfolio of clients for its extensive range of convenience products for the retail and foodservice markets.

“Management are pushing ahead to achieve growth targets and 17 of the planned 41 new jobs have already been created. In addition, the company has signed up a number of new clients in target markets which have enabled it to consolidate its position as one of the leading producers of pre-packed ‘food to go’ businesses in Northern Ireland.”

Invest NI has offered Brunch Box £157,300 of support.

The company was established in 1994 and acquired by managing director John Weatherup in 2007 backed by Beltrae Partners. It currently employs 55 people.

Mr Weatherup said: “This important investment is being made to enable us to build on the growth in sales over the past few years. We are operating in an extremely competitive marketplace and need to continually invest in our premises, process and people to provide our customers with a consistently high quality product at a good value for money price point.

“This consistent double digit growth gives us a very solid base to achieve a substantial increase in sales, particularly outside Northern Ireland, which currently contribute 50% of our business. Our objective is to drive sales to markets such as the Republic to beyond 60% of business.”

The minister added food and drink processing is now Northern Ireland’s most important manufacturing industry and is a major contributor to its economy.

“Furthermore, there is potential for faster growth across a broad range of sectors, including convenience products. I am keen to see this industry drive forward, both in terms of increasing exports and external sales, as well as new product development,” she said.

Belfast Telegraph