100 jobs in family bakery expansion
A family-run bakery in Northern Ireland is creating 100 jobs.
McErlain's in Magherafelt is run by six brothers, who are all bakers. They produce a range of bread and cakes under a brand called Genesis Crafty and supply own brand goods to major supermarkets.
The £1.4 million expansion will see another 65 jobs added to the workforce over the next two years, in addition to positions already filled.
Managing director Brian McErlain said: "We recognise the need to further expand our sales beyond Northern Ireland and have focused on developing new innovative products and enhancing our branding, sales and marketing in a bid to secure new export business.
"Support from DARD and Invest NI is helping us enhance our production and marketing capabilities to meet the demand of new customers and cement our position within the highly competitive bakery industry."
McErlain's has been awarded £352,000 by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) towards the planned investment under an EU grant scheme.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "Bakery is a well established and intensely competitive sector so this investment is very welcome news for the food industry, a key contributor to Northern Ireland's economy."
"This project demonstrates McErlain's clear desire to innovate and grow its sales outside Northern Ireland. It also highlights the Northern Ireland Executive's commitment and cross-departmental approach to support the development of local businesses," she added.
SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone said he was delighted to see a local business with such strong roots in the community grow and flourish in such a positive way.
"McErlain's is a family business and many local people will remember Mr McErlain and his bread van, so it is great to see the next generation develop the business with the growth of the Genesis Crafty brand," he said. "I wish them every success for the future."