Packaging firm aims to wrap up £4m turnover following pandemic boom

A company which supplies sustainable food and drinks packaging to a range of sectors is targeting £4m in turnover.

Purple Planet Packaging, based at the Seven Stars Industrial Estate in Coventry, works with manufacturers and suppliers to ‘close the loop’ as the vast majority of the 450 products it supplies are biodegradable material that can be composted.

The firm was bought by husband-and-wife team Mark and Joanna Farr in 2019 as a lifestyle business but the Covid lockdowns – and the sudden demand for takeaway packaging – saw an immediate and unexpected boom.

The couple had to quickly adapt despite having no prior knowledge of how to run a business.

They looked into what support was available within the region and are now working with Steve Tipson from the Business Ready programme as they look to reach £4m turnover by 2024.

Business Ready delivers support to expanding companies managed by the business support team at the University of Warwick Science Park and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Warwickshire County Council as part of the CW Business: Start, Grow & Scale Programme.

“The support we’ve had from Business Ready has been absolutely priceless,” said Mark. “We had not long bought the business when we went into the pandemic and when demand increased we just had to roll with it.

“We did everything to fulfill our orders and make sure that we kept customers happy but we were working really long hours and it takes its toll, especially with two young children in the house.

“We’ve had great support from lots of organisations – it really is out there if businesses are willing to look for it and ask for help.

“Working with Business Ready is helping to put things in place such as policies and procedures that we just didn’t have the awareness of before. You don’t know what you don’t know.

“Not only that, Steve and the team have some amazing contacts so he has put us in touch with different advisers who have been able to give us information and advice on matters such as HR and IP.

“I’d urge any business out there to get in touch and find out what help is on offer.”

As well as receiving one-to-one support from Tipson, the company has also accessed online workshops on social media, accessing finance, and marketing to increase its knowledge of how to run the business effectively.

Tipson said: “Mark and Joanna are developing an amazing business and it is not unusual to see a start-up grow very quickly without having everything in place in the background.

“Business Ready is there to help businesses when they hit some of those roadblocks to growth and help them to get processes in place to overcome them. Not only that, it’s about giving the business owners the room to have an overview of what they are doing rather than rushing around day to day making sure orders are being completed and cash is coming in.”

Pictured (left to right): Joanna Farr (Purple Planet Packaging), Steve Tipson (Business Ready), Martin Watson (Warwickshire County Council), Hayley Lineker (Warwickshire County Council), Mark Farr (Purple Planet Packaging)

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