The Mexican food business aims to boost new product development and distribution after installing a new tortilla chip cutting machine.
The device can process 3,500 fresh tortillas an hour designed for further cooking. “We could potentially do another 100,000 tortillas a week,” chief operating officer Kelly Peak told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
The extra boost to its capacity would enable the company to fulfil the demands of existing restaurant customers, while expanding its customer base, she added. It is about to launch into Booths supermarkets next month.
And it is launching single-use sauce pots to complement meat, fish and vegetable dishes in July to encourage consumers to cook Latin American meals using pre-prepared ingredients.
In addition, the business has ramped up production across existing machinery from five to seven days a week, plus two evenings.
Now it was targeting a range of new products, said Peak. “The project we are working on is taking to market tortilla chips that are already fried in the bag under the Cool Chile brand, aimed at high-end supermarkets and food stores.”
The company would work with another manufacturer that would fry and bag the tortillas it produced, she explained.
As Cool Chile grew, it would make sense to consolidate operations, but plans for that were not yet finalised, Peak said. “We operate out of three units at the moment, all in the same industrial estate in Willesden, north west London. Ideally we want to work under one roof.”
After securing an £80,000 loan a year ago, the firm invested in temperature controlled storage and distribution, enabling it to store its fresh tortillas for longer and transport them further. That would potentially broaden its customer reach, Peak claimed.
The business began as a market stall at Portobello Market in London in 1993 and still sells products at a stall in Borough Market. It employs 19 people and, in addition to fresh tortillas, supplies dried chillies, salsas, sauces and pastes.