Grass Roots Wholesale Foods was started two years ago by Simon and Nick Mellin and a private investor. The company has already increased staff from 5 to 40 and has huge plans for further growth.

Simon said “We recognised there was huge potential for our sustainably farmed products, and after testing the market, decided to set up Grass Roots.

“In doing so, we were enabling Roaming Roosters to shine as a retail business and Grass Roots as a wholesaler.” He added: “Resale is proving a huge area of growth for us. We are already working with a number of big name online retailers which is opening us up to a much wider audience for the business.”

The company already has premises in Altham and Preston and has now been awarded £140,000 grant from Lancashire Business Growth Fund towards the purchase of machinery to set up an extra production facility and fit out new premises on the Lomeshaye Estate in Pendle.

The project incorporates building work costing £547,115, and machinery to be purchased from J&N Food Equipment, cost £438,819.

Commenting on the project Simon said “Work should be completed in early May and the new premises will create 14 new jobs.”
Simon thanked the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce for its support, saying: “The business has grown massively in the last 12 months and getting support from banks at this stage of a company’s development is very difficult. The grant was crucial to ensure the project was able to go ahead.”

“We now have a 24,000 sq. ft. building and hope to continue to grow the business in Pendle. We have an option to take a further 24,000 sq. ft. if required.”

Mandy Lockett, International Business Director of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “We are pleased to support local businesses with their growth plans. The money is only on offer for another 12 months, so if you’re a business based in Lancashire please give us a call to discuss your project ideas.”

The Regional Growth Fund supported Lancashire Business Growth Fund is a programme offering capital investment grants and international trade support to businesses across the county. Launched by the county’s two accredited chambers of commerce – East Lancashire and North and Western Lancashire – in partnership with Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, it is intended to create 600 new jobs and safeguard a further 200.

Its key aim is to accelerate the creation of sustainable jobs by encouraging companies to bring forward growth projects on a bigger scale with a larger impact at a time when those jobs are most needed.
Businesses bidding for grants from the scheme can claim up to 20 per cent of the total project costs, with the remaining costs leveraged from the bank or investment.

To be eligible for the programme, projects must involve the acquisition of new machinery, infrastructure, expansion or another suitable form of Businesses are also required to demonstrate how many jobs will be created through the project to be accepted on to the scheme.

For more information please contact Stephanie Warrington on 01254 356473 or [email protected]