Gluten free food business targets growth as demand soars

North Yorkshire business, The Gluten Free Kitchen, has been boosted by new investment as demand rises for its range of gluten and “free-from” food.

NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, which is managed by FW Capital and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has provided a six-figure loan to assist The Gluten Free Kitchen with its growth and the creation of five new jobs.

The business was established in 2005 by Sue Fleming after she saw the challenges faced by people with coeliac disease when sourcing good quality food that is free from gluten.

She began to experiment with a series of recipes and created dishes which are today available from The Gluten Free Kitchen’s online store.

A selection of products are also available in a selected number of Waitrose Stores, online at Ocado, as well as independent outlets and farm shops throughout the UK.  The product range includes “free from” cakes, puddings, and savoury pies.

Fleming’s Gluten Free Kitchen started in the village of Aysgarth, in North Yorkshire, and moved to larger production facilities and a retail outlet in Leyburn.

The business plans to move to even larger premises in the Leyburn Business Park to accommodate increased demand.

Fleming said: “Our ‘free from’ ethos is centred around flavour and quality. I’m proud to have created a delicious range of foods that doesn’t compromise on flavour.

“The increased demand for our product ranges means we need more staff who will also be part of our expansion journey into larger premises.

“We’re fit for bursting at the moment and are excited to be creating more jobs. Without the support of Keith Charlton and Lindsey McMenamin at FW Capital we wouldn’t be able to do this.”

McMenamin, portfolio manager at FW Capital, added: “Sue’s passion for the business is evident and she has created a successful and innovative brand which provides consumers with gluten intolerance with a wide variety of choice.

“The Gluten Free Kitchen is today a prominent brand serving the UK coeliac community.

“With demand for ‘free from’ products rising, Sue needed further working capital to support the creation of new jobs and the expansion of the business.

“I’m thrilled to be part of this and help The Gluten Free Kitchen with their next stage of development.”

FW Capital was introduced to Fleming at The Gluten Free Kitchen by Barry Gill at TIG Corporate Finance and consultant Karen Wyndham-Webb.

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