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Ice cream company investment to boost turnover

By James Ridler+

25-Jul-2016
Last updated on 25-Jul-2016 at 13:13 GMT2016-07-25T13:13:49Z

Left to right: Manolo Imperatori, Josh Lee and Dirk Mischendahl
Left to right: Manolo Imperatori, Josh Lee and Dirk Mischendahl

A Leeds-based ice cream manufacturer has invested over £100,000 additional cold storage facilities and automated filling equipment to boost production.

Northern Bloc’s investment of £107,000 brought the total investment to date at the company to £350,000. It includes a grant of £21,000 from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The firm is now looking for further investment to make the company a £15M turnover business in the next five years.

Key to the manufacturer’s success was the contribution of Italian chef Manolo Imperatori, according to director Josh Lee.

“Manolo has developed a unique natural ingredient that we use in our ice creams,” said Lee.

‘No artificial flavourings’

It means we can make the highest quality, pure ice creams with absolutely no artificial flavourings, additives or synthetic syrups.

Lee also said Northern Bloc’s mix of traditional ice cream flavours, like strawberry and black pepper and chocolate and sea salt, had given the company an edge in the market it serves.

Satisfying and growing demand for its core products is the priority for the company, but it hoped to expand its range in the future, according to co-director Dirk Mischendahl.

“For too many years the ice cream market in the UK has been taken for granted and people overall have not known what is possible,” said Mischendahl.

At Northern Bloc we give a lot of respect to the art of ice cream making and Manolo treats it as a science rather than a summer treat.

Build a great business’

“With the support from the LEP, for which we are very thankful, we’re confident that we can challenge perceptions and build a great business.”

Northern Bloc is one of more than 1,700 businesses that has been supported to grow since the launch of the LEP’s growth service in July 2015.

LEP chair Roger Marsh said: “Northern Bloc is a great example of an ambitious SME [small and medium enterprise] who can accelerate their growth by working with the LEP.

“Having spoken to businesses, we understand finding time to sift through all of the business support offers can be a real issue for SME owners. 

“This is why we created the Growth Service and already it is paying dividends. I encourage business owners to pick up the phone and talk to us.”  

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