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Greater Manchester set to cook up next generation of food & drink superstars

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Hilary Centeleghe, GC Business Growth Hub

Recipe4Success, Greater Manchester’s highly successful business development initiative aimed at supporting small food and drink producers and operators, has announced details of its latest programme which begins this month.

The next Recipe4Success programme, which helps ambitious companies looking to grow their business, will be officially launched at the offices of PwC on Hardman Street in Manchester on Tuesday 8th January.

Budding food and beverage entrepreneurs who attend the launch will be able to find out more about the programme and what it offers to ambitious firms wanting to succeed in the food and drink sector.

At the end of the programme participants will also get the chance to pitch to a major supermarket buyer with a view to securing a national listing for their product.

Previous Recipe4Success programmes have already helped a large number of fledgling Greater Manchester businesses see their products stocked in major supermarkets, including Tesco and Morrisons, and specialist independent retailers.

One recent graduate of the scheme is Alex Markham, founder of SOOP.

SOOP, who are based in Ancoats, produce a range of high-quality, fresh noodle soups which contain no MSG, no freeze-dried vegetables and a minimum of processed ingredients.

Earlier this year, on the advice of the Recipe4Success team, Alex entered the Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards 2018 and won six gold stars.

Out of 12,634 products to be judged in total, only 192 products were awarded the most prestigious 3-Star Award. This included SOOP’s Tofu & Wild Mushroom product.

Alex said of the Recipe4Success programme: “The awards were a game-changing moment for our business and one that’s only happened thanks to the advice of the Recipe4Success scheme.

“As a result of our participation in the programme our products are now in several independent retailers across the country and will shortly be on the shelves of Selfridges and Harrods. We’re also in talks with a major supermarket brand about a trial. If that goes well, we’ll be rolling out the product nationwide.

“Throughout our journey the Recipe4Success team’s industry experience has been invaluable. From advice on costings to introduction to supermarket buyers, they have been a vital source of information from day one.

“Their help has given me the confidence to take the product from being produced in my home kitchen to a purpose-built facility where we have the capacity to produce 15,000 SOOPs per week. I would therefore strongly encourage any small-scale or start-up food producers to register on the scheme.”