Picture by Harrison Photography
In picture is, (left), Stuart Hewitt, Technical Director at Pure Roast Coffee, with Maynard Mawhinney Invest NI Director of Food and Tourism.
Pure Roast Coffee in Lisburn has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to achieve a key quality accreditation that helped it win £1.2 million of new business outside Northern Ireland for ‘easy serving espresso’ (ESE) coffee pods and whole beans.
The company, a specialist coffee roaster, received Invest NI support to achieve British Retail Consortium (BRC) Grade A accreditation that will enable it to grow its business in retail and contract catering throughout the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.
The accreditation helped the company to secure substantial new business for over seven million ESE coffee pods a year from two major companies in London, bringing the total number of ESE pods produced by Pure Roast Coffee to 12 million pods a year.
In addition, one of the largest UK vending operatories placed a contract for 120 tonnes of Arabica coffee beans a year with Pure Roast Coffee.
The new business - equivalent to 24 million cups of coffee a year – was announced by Stuart Hewitt, Pure Roast Coffee’s Technical Director, and welcomed by Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI Director of Food and Tourism, who said: “Our assistance has enabled this company to achieve BRC status as an essential part of a wider strategy to grow sales of its products faster in markets outside Northern Ireland.
“Support that we’ve provided has also been focused on R&D and has enabled this small and ambitious business to carve out a strong market position as the only coffee producer in Ireland capable of providing own label pods in substantial volumes for major catering organisations.”
Mr Hewitt said: “The latest contracts strengthen our position as a major supplier particularly of coffee pods in Great Britain. We are seeing a growing interest in pods because of their convenience and the guarantee of high quality coffee.
“Achieving BRC Grade A accreditation at the first attempt is important for us because it’s an essential requirement to enable us to do business with leading wholesalers and retailers. It’s effectively a badge of high quality and consistency in terms of facilities, operating procedures and manufacturing systems.
“The accreditation is the outcome of extensive investment in finance, management time and other resources by us, still a small business, and in response to approaches from a broad range of potential clients from most catering sectors keen to benefit in particular from our expertise in the development and production of ESE coffee pods to the specific requirements of customers.
“The new business enables us to build on the 75 per cent year-on-year growth that we’ve been experiencing and carries forward contracts won in international markets with Emirates Airline and other high profile customers,” he added.
Pure Roast Coffee was formed in 2009.