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Tim Andrew, managing director, Andrew Ingredients

Tim Andrew, managing director, Andrew Ingredients

Brian Thompson

Tim Andrew, managing director, Andrew Ingredients

Being managing director of a family business founded at the end of the Second World War is a bit intimidating, admits Tim Andrew.

But the many achievements of the food and bakery supplies company Andrew Ingredients also makes him happy, he says.

"To be honest I feel enormously proud, firstly to be the managing director of a business my father started back in 1945, but also for how successful it has become today," says Tim. "My father set very high standards which I have strived to continue and improve upon. I know my father would be delighted with the end result if he could see it today. Knowing this makes me very happy."

Tim's father Bill established the original business when he was given the opportunity by his then employer - the Liverpool firm Peerless Refining Co - to operate its Northern Ireland agency. Tim has been with the family business since 1967. That first business operated from near Belfast docks, but later moved to Hillsborough, where it became Andrew of Hillsborough Ltd.

Since then it has moved another three times, expanding several years ago by taking over the WH Waugh company. It recently moved into large customised premises in Lisburn. From here, it services all of Ireland.

Throughout its history, the Andrew business has marketed itself on the basis of high service standards. "We are continually striving to improve," says Tim. "We now actively enter relevant awards to get recognition."

Always striving to enhance its customer service, the company recently introduced an iPhone app for its sales team and made significant improvements to its internal messaging system.

But, he adds, it was the food firm's involvement in a Products for all Seasons event in the Hodson Bay resort in Athlone that was its most ambitious recent initiative. "We teamed up with two suppliers, IREKS and California Raisins," Tim explains.

"The Products for all Seasons event brought together a large collection of Irish bakers to showcase 20 products from winter to autumn.

"Following the presentations, the exhibition was thronging with delegates keen to taste and discuss the products in more detail. In the evening, dinner and entertainment was provided raising €2,400 (£1,927) for charity. We were also able to announce that 35 tonnes of IREKS mixes was sold and 16 tonnes of California Raisins. Both suppliers were obviously delighted with the results and they are both very keen to run it again."

Despite the continued successes of recent years, Tim remains ambitious for further growth. He wants to increase staff from today's 26 up to 30, and by 2015 raise the firm's turnover from its current £12m to £15m.

As well as this, Tim, hopes to expand their chilled food range by the end of this year. The business is also keen to do more to promote export sales. And planning has begun for a special exhibition in 2015 to celebrate 70 years in business.

It is no wonder that Tim Andrew feels that his father Bill would be happy.