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31.01.06
Traditional homemade produce is recipe for success

Mark Fisher, Helen Danning, and Roger and Jackie Hayler sample some Tara’s Pantry goodies at Trelawney Garden LeisureBusiness Link Devon and Cornwall have helped a Cornish cottage industry, which produces handmade pies, cakes and pastries, find the recipe for commercial success.

Due to increased demand, Tara's Pantry last year moved production from the Rilla Mill, home of owners Jackie and Roger Hayler, to bigger premises in Liskeard and over the past 6 months the business has seen production treble.

The company received investment from Business Link Devon and Cornwall to help them invest in new equipment such as freezers, fridges and ovens for the industrial unit on Owen Sivell Close. They also received investment which enabled them to receive marketing and financial management advice from a business mentor.

Manager Mark Fisher, said: "It's very difficult when you're focused on day to day work to look at the wider business opportunities but the help we got from Business Link was brilliant. They paired us up with a business mentor who made us think about advertising, marketing and getting into some trade shows. We'd been used to dealing very locally through farm shops and other outlets and hadn't previously considered wholesaling. Now, as well as supplying local outlets such as Trelawney Garden Leisure, we deliver as far afield as Leicester, Nottingham and Scotland. We've been able to create four more full time jobs and are looking to continue that growth. In the next year or so we'll have to expand into even bigger premises and we're expecting to double our current output in the next 12 months."

Tara's Pantry try to use as many local ingredients as possible in their recipes. All the meat for their pies is sourced from Cornish Country Meats, based in Liskeard and the eggs and flour are supplied by local farms. The company also produces all the fruit pies and pastries which Cornish Country Meats sell at a variety of events and markets throughout the South West. No preservatives or additives are used in production, which results in a shorter shelf life but a higher quality end product.

Mark commented: "Things have improved over the past few years, in that, customers are now more aware of product ingredients. People are more likely to be interested in reading about what their food contains than being influenced by fancy packaging, which is great. There is less interest in products that are mass produced and factory made and more in traditional food with quality ingredients."

Graham Woolcock is manager of Business Link Devon and Cornwall's Food and Drink Programme, he said: "Growing a successful business is all about having a good business strategy and it can be very beneficial to have access to someone able to give an objective and independent point of view about the direction the company is moving in. Everyone at Tara's Pantry have done a great job of developing the business. Their customers are obviously enjoying the quality of the product and hopefully they'll be taking this to a wider market in the coming years."

For further information please contact press officer, Maxine McAdams on 01566 771862 or email: mmcadams@marketing-pr.co.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Business Link Devon and Cornwall's Food and Drink Programme through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

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Editor's notes:

Business Link provides a free information and enquiry service via an information gateway on the web www.blinkdandc.com and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and those considering starting a business. Additionally It provides impartial business advice and support through a network of partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register of independent business practitioners. Business Link for Devon and Cornwall delivers the national Business Link service to the region under contract from the South West RDA.

Business Link has received Objective One investment (European Regional Development Fund and EAGGF) to help companies improve performance and grow.

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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

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