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13th June 2022

Luxury food business secures loan to support expansion

A Worcestershire based food gifting company has secured a £200,000 loan to support growth through increased marketing and product development, creating eight new jobs.

Ross & Ross Gifts Ltd, based in Evesham, secured the finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), provided by the FSE Group, Debt Finance Fund and backed by the Recovery Loan Scheme.

Ross & Ross Gifts was created to address a gap in the market for quality and original gifts aimed at people using online sales to sell locally sourced food enhancing product, such as homemade Curing Kits, Food Hampers, British Roasts, British BBQ and Vegetarian.

Ross & Ross Gifts will use the funding to expand its product range, which each range offering a variety of flavours and products including rubs, dusts, oils, jams, salts, sauces and chutney. The company aims to adapt products to new market trends as all products are designed and developed in-house by the founder, Ross Bearman, and then made by another local business. The Vegetarian range has been created in response to the recent increase in consumers choosing a more plant-based diet.

Ross Bearman, Founder of Ross & Ross Gifts, said: “Due to our existing set-up and the speed with which we can innovate new ideas whilst retaining the quality and premium ingredients that our target customer expects, we are in a strong position to take advantage of new trends and tastes. We are delighted to secure this loan to put the impact of Covid-19 behind us, allowing us to drive our expansion strategy forward and add a new focus on personalisation and corporate gifting, both of which have huge potential to grow sales.

Personalisation is a growing market trend in the gifting industry, with research showing that consumers are willing to pay a premium price for it. The company is looking to use this growth with a new range. The corporate gift market is worth £78million in the UK, and Ross & Ross will be concentrating on expanding its success in this market through sales of luxury hampers.

Andy Moss, Head of Fund, Midlands at The FSE Group which manages the MEIF Debt Finance Fund, comments: “The business is currently operating a successful multi-channel sales strategy, split into Trade, Distributers and Online. The MEIF loan will support Ross & Ross Gifts to drive additional sales via these existing channels, through the engagement of further sales and marketing staff. It will also allow the company to keep ahead of its rivals by supporting in-house product development, ensuring innovation is always at the forefront of the brand.”

Grant Peggie, Director at the British Business Bank, said: “MEIF funding aims to support the growth of Midlands-based businesses such as Ross & Ross Gifts. Alongside the creation of eight new jobs, the funding will help the company to expand into new markets and develop new products. We encourage other small businesses in the Midlands to consider MEIF financing options for their own growth plans.”

Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is great news to see another Worcestershire business being supported to grow through the MEIF programme. This support investment will allow Ross & Ross Gifts to expand their operation, creating new jobs in the county, helping the local economy to grow and recover from the challenging few years we’ve had. For any businesses in Worcestershire looking at what support options are out there to help them grow, make sure you speak with the Worcestershire Growth Hub team to find out more about all the options, including the MEIF programme.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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