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The Granary12.10.05
Big Expansion For Truro Food Firm

FULL UP WITH FOOD! Now Jill and Jim Thomas (centre) can expand their Granary warehouse capacity. They are pictured with Ewan McClymont, business development manager of Bishop Fleming Chartered Accountants, and John Peters, fund manager, South West Investment Group

Ten jobs have been safeguarded and two more will be created following the go ahead for major expansion by a Truro wholesaler of natural foods, organic foods and associated products.

With the approval of a £42,000 loan through SWIG's Cornwall Business Growth Fund, match-funded by Barclays, The Granary is set to expand floor space by two thirds at its Newham Road warehouse.

Purchased in 1991 by Jim and Jill Thomas, the business has grown to the point where it desperately needed more warehouse space for its product distribution in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset. The warehouse extension will not only increase floor space to 4,000 square feet but also improve the area's appearance by removing the existing temporary office building and storage containers. Office space will be incorporated into the one building, which will improve the security and efficiency of the operation.

The improvements will enable the company to increase efficiency by an estimated 15 per cent, benefit from commodity buying discounts, broaden its product range and increase sales of bulk goods, its most profitable product line.

Due to their specialist nature, the company's 5,000 product lines are sourced mainly from food importers. The Thomases have grown their customer base to 450, with 60 per cent outside Cornwall. Clients include health food outlets, farm shops, chemists, local stores, hotels, public houses and food manufacturers.

Highlights in the Thomases' 14 years' ownership of the business have included the doubling of turnover, developing the "Nature's Garden" own label and becoming a recognised player in the UK wholesale market of health and natural food products. All its goods are ambient, with nothing chilled or frozen. "This is very much a milestone in our company's development and a key contributor to securing our fundamental aim of long-term profitable trading," said Jim Thomas. "We are indebted to Bishop Fleming for orchestrating the whole package that has made it happen and to SWIG and Barclays Bank for providing the financial support."

SWIG's finance took the form of an interest free Objective One backed loan. John Peters, fund manager at SWIG commented: "Jim and Jill Thomas have a tremendous success story to their credit, but they had reached the stage where they were becoming very much victims of their own success. Now they can expand and supply their excellent products with significantly greater efficiency and profitability."

For further information please contact John Peters, the SWIG fund manager on 01872 223883.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the SWIG Cornwall Business Growth Fund through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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Editor's notes:

 

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk