Director Rachael Exton told FoodManufacture.co.uk the 2,230m2 factory, which was officially opened this week in the Manchester Enterprise Zone, recruited seven permanent and five agency staff initially.
However, Exton, who founded the company with her sister Elizabeth in 2000, added: “We are moving to a third shift, which will require another 12 [agency workers].
‘Needed extra capacity’
“We’re really happy with the premises; due to a continued increase in sales we needed the extra capacity to enable future growth and maintain our high standards of service.”
The purpose-built factory is triple the size of the previous premises’ production and storage areas, according to the company, which supplies grated, sliced and continental cheeses to sandwich manufacturers, wholesalers and foodservice customers.
Additions to facilities
Additions to facilities include separate goods in and goods out areas, straight production lines with ancillary areas such as wash rooms and tool stores.
The plant incorporates separate high care and low care areas refrigerated with pressure-filtered air. The sisters have also invested in a secondary slicing and packing line to increase productivity and compete within the retail market.
Extons Foods started as a supplier of cheese and sandwich fillings to local sandwich shops. However, the sisters saw a gap in the market for cheese sliced to bespoke customer specifications, and the company has now achieved a turnover of £17M, and slices and packs 60t of cheese a week.
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