In the forty years that Doctor Who has been wielding a sonic screwdriver, it’s been used to track alien life, create force fields and even disarm the Daleks!
Now, thanks to some timely funding, an award-winning Northamptonshire food manufacturer will soon be putting sonic power to equally impressive use, writes Anna Murby.
Classic Cuisine, based on Northampton’s Moulton Park, provides main course dishes and desserts to the foodservice sector, including many of the best-known high street restaurants, pubs and supermarkets, and has just received a grant of £22,000 from FEAST2 (Food Enterprise and Advisory Support Team) which means that within the next few weeks it will be installing an ultrasonic cutter to enable it to increase the speed and sharpness of its portioning and thereby its competitiveness.
The firm’s owner and Managing Director is Jeeva Sanmugam and she is not surprisingly excited about the arrival of the new equipment and the big difference it will make to the business: “We’re an innovative company and work very hard with our customers to ensure that we meet their requirements, which, in recent years have been increasingly for more gluten-free and plant-based products” said Jeeva.
“Often those can be quite delicate items and what the ultrasonic cutter will allow us to do is to make really precise slices without disturbing the integrity of the pie or cheesecake and therefore we will we be able to not only save on wastage but also offer our customers the chance to work with more challenging ingredients and recipes.
“Ultimately it means we will be able to expand our current range of some 65 or so products and that should certainly give us the edge over our competitors when it comes to new contracts” enthused Jeeva.
In fact, this is not the first time that the company has benefited from this source of European Regional Development Fund funding, having received a grant of £7,500 from the project’s predecessor, FEAST.
Over the last two years, that original scheme saw thousands of pounds distributed in grants to eligible food and drink manufacturers and offered access to sector events, technical expertise and mentoring – all of which is again on offer for free over the next three years.
As Jeeva revealed, taking advantage of this second phase was an obvious step and one which she would encourage others to follow: “I think many businesses imagine that the application process is complicated and time consuming but, thanks to my advisor, it was actually quite simple and well worth the few hours’ input required” said Jeeva.
“I wouldn’t have done it for a second time if it hadn’t been so easy first time round and now I just can’t wait for the sonic cutter to arrive.
“In fact you could say that the proof of this FEAST2 support really will be in the pudding!” she giggled.
FEAST2, has been awarded to the Food & Drink Forum and is worth £3,934,176 in total. It will receive a further £1,967,089 in funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
For more details of FEAST2, including registering your business for the free support on offer, please contact Amanda Askew at The Mallows Company on 01933 664437 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgMeanwhile for more information about Classic Cuisine and its range of award-winning products, please visit http://www.classiccuisine.co.uk or call 01604 644884.