Around Noon to boost automation in £500k investment

By Noli Dinkovski contact

- Last updated on GMT

Investment deal (l-r): John Mathers with Gareth Chambers and Howard Farqhuar
Investment deal (l-r): John Mathers with Gareth Chambers and Howard Farqhuar

Related tags: Finance, Dairy, Chilled

Northern Ireland-based food-to-go specialist Around Noon is to plough more than £500,000 into automation and IT improvements.

Headquartered in Newry with a second manufacturing facility in London, Around Noon won financial backing from Barclays in support of its investment.

The company, which employed 330 staff across the two sites, said it planned to grow the products and services it offered, and take on new staff. The outlay supported a wider business strategy to acquire new businesses, it added.

Around Noon supplies sandwiches, wraps, salads, bakery items and cold-pressed juices to coffee shop chains, convenience retailers and contract caterers.

The company has bought two businesses in recent years – London-based Chef-in-a-Box and Sweet Things Bakery, which was originally based in Dublin.

Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100

On the back of its growth, it has appeared in the Sunday Times​ Virgin Fast Track 100 listing in both 2017 and 2018.

Around Noon was founded in 1989 by Sheila Chambers, who was awarded an MBE in last month’s Queen’s Birthday Honours. It is now owned and run by Sheila’s son, Gareth Chambers and chairman Howard Farquhar.

Farquhar said Barclays’ support would help the company meet its ambitious growth targets. 

“Barclays put together an impressive proposal to support Around Noon’s strategic growth plan, which includes investing significantly to increase business with existing customers and to facilitate further acquisitions.”

“We feel that the relationship is the right fit for us as a business, given the expertise of the Barclays team locally, as well as the experience and coverage that the bank can offer in a range of markets.”

‘The energy and ambition of the team’

John Mathers, corporate development director at Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “We have been very impressed with the growth of Around Noon and the energy and ambition of the team.

“We worked closely with management to understand their business needs and to put together a package that not only provides their day-to-day banking, but also adds value and support from the wider Barclays network.

“Around Noon is a fantastic business and we are very pleased to be able to play a supporting role in its ongoing growth.”

Related topics: Chilled foods, Industry 4.0

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