The investment from Lloyds Bank had also allowed Nim’s to move its production facilities from eastern Europe to the UK.
Operating from its site in Sittingbourne, Kent, Nim’s now has listings on Amazon and Costco, as well as attracting interest from healthy food and health supplement retailer Holland & Barrett.
Md Nimisha Raja planned to put the funding to use by targeting new markets in the US, Europe and Australia, with the help of UK Trade & Investment and the Food and Drink Federation.
Nim’s Fruit Crisps also intended to introduce seasonal lines, such as air-dried fig and orange crisps for sale this Christmas.
“Setting up Nim’s Fruit Crisps on my own was a big challenge and it made sense for me to start small,” said Raja.
“But bringing manufacturing back to the UK has not only given me control over production and supply, but accelerated the export market as the ‘Made in UK’ stamp of quality is well respected throughout the world.
“Access to finance proved to be a stumbling block. The funding support was instrumental in allowing me to get my venture off the ground in the UK.”
Raja hoped to tap into the health food market in order to maintain a competitive “edge” and develop new products for the company’s growing customer base.
‘Forward-thinking manufacturing business’
Lloyds Bank praised Raja’s business planning. “Nim’s Fruit Crisps is an innovative and forward-thinking manufacturing business and it was obvious that Nimisha had a clear strategy in place for the expansion into the UK,” said manufacturing relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking in Kent Mark Darby.
“It’s great to witness the business already going from strength-to-strength since launching here, and encouraging to see that Nimisha has so many exciting plans moving forwards.
“We are committed to supporting manufacturing businesses and this is why we have pledged to increase the amount of new funding support provided to UK manufacturing businesses by £1bn in 2016.”
Meanwhile, single mother Raja decided to launch the business in 2012, after running a cafe opposite a school and noticing pupils often chose unhealthy snacks. She used her own funds for product development, while production was outsourced to a company in eastern Europe.
Nim’s Fruit Crisps now employs four staff.