Packaging firm to create jobs and boost turnover on back of lockdown sales boom

Hazel Pilling (Chamber), Tom Mongan (Chamber), Mark Farr (Purple Planet), Jo Farr (Purple Planet)
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A packaging business in Coventry run by a husband-and-wife team is set to create jobs and increase turnover by more than tenfold.

Mark and Joanna Farr bought Devon-based Purple Planet Packaging in 2019 and moved the operation to Coventry.

The business sells a range of environmentally-friendly food and drink containers, from hot and cold drink cups to takeaway cartons, to a range of sectors, from schools through to the hospitality trade.

Lockdown – and the rise of businesses delivering food and offering takeaway services – saw a major rise in sales for the company, which is on course to go from £120,000 a year turnover when the couple bought the business two years ago to around £1.6m in 2022.

The couple initially ran the business from home before realising they needed warehouse space as the number of products they sell increased.

The company is now taking on new staff, investing in technology and taking extra warehouse space at its base on the Seven Stars Industrial Estate in the city.

Purple Planet Packaging has been supported in its growth by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

Mark said: “We bought the business because we saw great potential but when lockdown hit, sales rose much quicker than we could have ever anticipated.

“We were working seven days a week to fulfil orders and it meant it was harder to get some of those business basics in place. That’s where the Chamber has been a real lifeline for us.

“Neither of us are business people – this was a new venture for us – so to have the Chamber’s guidance on some of the processes and procedures we needed to have in place has been key.

“They’ve supported us with grant applications and have also introduced us to other organisations and businesses who have been able to support our growth.

“We will be recruiting very soon to ensure we continue to grow because there are so many opportunities, starting here in Coventry and Warwickshire, for us to expand our share of the market.”

Tom Mongan, president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Mark and Joanna are an inspiration to anyone who wants to start a business because of what they have achieved in such a short space of time.

“The pandemic has seen their orders grow much more quickly than they could have predicted initially but they have responded to that and have had a very busy first couple of years.

“The team at the Chamber has worked with Purple Planet Packaging to offer a whole host of practical support and that will stand the business in good stead as it plans for further growth.”

 

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