Image by Michael Cooper
Pictured (left) is John Hood, Invest NI, with Joanne Molloy, TS Foods.
TS Foods in Castlewellan is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to invest £600,000 and create 20 new jobs to expand sales in Britain of an innovative product.
The company has won business from Tesco and Asda in Great Britain for a new range of chilled stuffings.
John Hood, Invest NI Food and Tourism Director said: “This is an immensely important strategic investment for the business because it is based on two significant retail contacts that will substantially increase its market position in Great Britain.
“Our assistance is enabling this successful and ambitious business to expand its processing and storage facilities for the new business in Britain for an innovative stuffing product. The new products offer shoppers a fresh alternative in line with the growing demand for such quality meals that combine convenience, provenance and value for money.
“The investment in plant, machinery and jobs will also strengthen the company’s overall competitiveness by increasing productivity, enhancing responsiveness and providing economies of scale,” he added.
The family-owned and managed business currently employs 49 people on a full time basis. The 20 new posts include two in senior management. Invest NI has offered £99,100 towards the expansion.
Joanne Molloy, Commercial Director of TS Foods, said: “Securing the new business with Tesco and Asda in Britain to supply fresh stuffing as both branded and for the retailers’ private labels is a very exciting development for the company in a market that we have targeted for growth.
“As well as the significant support for our investment in new plant, machinery and equipment, Invest NI’s food marketing advisory service in Britain helped us to pinpoint and exploit the developing business opportunity there for our new product.
“Our investment will also provide opportunities in Northern Ireland for suppliers. More than 40 per cent of goods, including ingredients, and services associated with this expansion will be locally sourced. We expect that 80 per cent of the expenditure on developing, modernising facilities and revamping the existing production areas to increase productivity and efficiency will involve other local companies,” added Mrs Molloy.
TS Foods was formed in 1978 by husband and wife team Tony and Ann Steele to produce a range of convenience foods including the well- known ‘Tony’s Chippy Pastie’. The company, which has Grade A quality accreditation from the British Retail Consortium, has expanded its frozen and chilled product range for both retail and foodservice clients in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.