£4m investment makes Wythenshaw firm a big cheese in food industry

Extons Foods

Extons Foods, a key supplier of grated, block and continental cheese to wholesale, foodservice, and retail industries, has unveiled plans for a new 54,000 sq ft facility, following a £4m investment

The company, which won the Family Business category of TheBusinessDesk.com’s Business of the Year Awards in October this year, has announced it’s investing in a new unit, set to be fully operational by 2024.

The new unit, which is next to the current site in Wythenshawe, includes a secondary grating line, committed to retail and servicing retail clients.

This new grating line will reduce changeovers and will open opportunities to supply retail directly. This new line is expected to be fully functional by September 2024.

It also provides an additional 250 pallet spaces and includes a planned extension of warehouse, packing room and production lines to ensure a safer and better working environment for Extons’ staff.

The business currently has four production lines and is one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of sliced and grated cheese. With 23 years of experience under their belts, Extons processes 450 tonnes of cheese a week, employs 150 staff and is a trusted contract packer for some of the most recognisable names in dairy from across the UK.

Originally founded in 2000 by Liz Parkinson, Extons was a small loss-making business which supplied local sandwich shops with grated cheese. Now, in 2023, the family business is on course to turnover £100m.

Liz said: “Despite the uncertainty around Brexit, and the COVID pandemic which saw our sales drop 70% overnight, we’ve bounced back bigger and better than ever before and have seen enormous growth over the last few years.

“This investment into extending our current facility comes at a time when we’re looking to reaffirm our commitment to our customers through modern, world class, cutting edge production to serve increased demand from our wide and varied client base.

“Extons is a people-first, caring company with a loyal team, enabling us to have one of the best reputations for service and quality in the industry. We’ve stayed true to our roots and continue to reinvest in the local community, never moving away from South Manchester.”

She added: “Our staff are our greatest asset, we want to reward our workforce, and to enable them to offer much needed employment and provide crucial investment into the local area.”

On winning TheBusinessDesk award, the company said: “Given our incredibly strong family values and ethos we couldn’t be happier with that category.

“This truly is a team effort and it is down to how our leadership, team, partners, customers and suppliers all work together so well. We want to take this chance to say thank you. It has made us even more hungry for success and we have some more growth news coming out over the coming weeks.”