Investment pays off for cake ingredients company

Orchard Valley
Orchard Valley's new hub in Leominster is up and running
  (Photo:  )

Orchard Valley, the cake decoration and ingredients firm, has seen turnover rise 35% year on year for two consecutive years following investment. 

It expects the same growth for its coming year, which runs to 31 May, and plans to increase its export arm from 10% of the business to 15% by May 2016. It currently exports to 28 countries and is “working very hard” on that side of the business.

It has just opened a new 42,000sq ft distribution centre in Leominster, Herefordshire, which is currently at 40% capacity, giving it plenty of room to grow.

The company opened a 1,200sq ft production application centre at its first site in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire in June, at a spend of just under £100,000. This is used for inviting customers to come and see products in application and share new product innovations. Customers come in roughly every 10 days for a day in the centre.

Mike Forrester, managing director, said: “It has been overwhelmed with response from our customers. If they come on-site here, we can look at so many products and so many applications across the day. It is difficult to get that level of activity with sending samples back and forth and business has increased as a result. We can get new products to market more quickly.”

Training is also a key focus going forward with £80,000 spent on that area in the last year, with more investment to come.

Forrester said: “Our investment at the moment is people. We have a very strong training ethos and talent management programme of people here, who are completing a university diploma.” The business also has a number of vacancies to fill as a result of business growth.

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