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5th November 2020

Leicester food-to-go manufacturer ‘tuks’ into £200k MEIF Investment

Tuk In Foods, an award-winning ‘food-to-go’ concept looking to challenge the traditional way of eating Indian food, has secured a £200,000 investment from First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans via the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).

The funding is enabling the Indian food-to-go business to progress its ambitious growth plans including the development of a premium ready meals range, the launch of an online delivery service and a collaboration with Michelin Starred chef, Sajeev Nair.

Tom Cropper set up the company in 2015 after he decided to leave his career in financial services and follow his passion for food. The Indian fast food manufacturer has slowly grown in the last five years and its innovative ‘curry in a naan’, as well as other key product lines, can now be found in close to 1,000 stores across the UK.

The business recently launched its premium ready meals with Tesco, in its Jacks chain of stores, and Tuk In Foods’ online store is now operational.

Tom Cropper, managing director at Tuk in Foods, said:

“I had the idea of a ‘curry in a naan’ back when I was a student in Cambridge and after a few years of trial and error I’m delighted that the idea is finally taking off. The last few years have been focused on getting the products, branding, and packaging right as well as testing the market, but now we are very much ready for the next phase of growth.

“In order to scale the business and list within supermarkets and key retail shops, we need to invest to meet the potential demand. We’re therefore delighted that First Enterprise - Enterprise Loans shares our vision and our business adviser Matthew has supported us brilliantly throughout the entire investment process.”

Matthew Wright, business advisor at First Enterprise - Enterprise Loans, commented:

“We’re really pleased to support Tom and Tuk In Foods with this investment. The convenience food sector is a competitive market. However, the product is excellent – in my opinion there is nothing quite like it – and with a range of customer focused products in development backed by an experienced team, I know that the firm is set to do great things. We wish the team the best of luck.”

Lewis Stringer, senior manager at the British Business Bank, said:

“This latest funding into Tuk In Foods demonstrates some of the ways MEIF funding can be used to help a business develop new product lines and increase their customer base. We are pleased to be supporting another business achieve growth ambitions and would encourage other SMEs across Leicestershire and beyond to consider the finance options available through the MEIF.”

Kevin Harris, chair of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership board of directors, added:

“In response to local business challenges the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) is committed to developing our region as a great place for innovation, identifying the areas of greatest business opportunity, productivity and growth, including access to funding. This is why we have provided investment through MEIF to support businesses across our region.

 “Tuk In Foods is another fantastic example of the innovation and entrepreneurship shown by many of our micro and small businesses across Leicester and Leicestershire. I am delighted they have been successful in securing the MEIF funding and wish them every success.”

Thomas Cropper will be taking part in an ‘Investment Masterclass’ being delivered by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, in partnership with the Leicester offices of RSM UK, as part of Leicester Business Festival, on 12th November.

The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

First Enterprise - Enterprise Loans provide government-backed finance to businesses across the East and South East Midlands with lending ranging from £3,000 to £250,000.

For more information on First Enterprise - Enterprise Loans visit www.first-enterprise.co.uk or follow @1st_Enterprise on Twitter. For further information on the MEIF please visit www.meif.co.uk or follow @MidsEngInv.

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