27/02/2013 - Permalink

Rapid expansion for Shropshire gourmet sausage roll business

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A deli owner from Oswestry is enjoying great success after setting up a business to sell sausage rolls to the retail and food service sector just over two years ago – and now includes the likes of Harrods among his customers.

Based at the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre in Shrewsbury, Coopers Gourmet Sausage Rolls is owned by Ivan Watkiss who produces handmade, premium sausage rolls with a twist.

Ivan started making sausage rolls four years ago to sell in his three deli shops in Oswestry and Llangollen. They proved such a success with customers that he decided to start up Coopers Gourmet Sausage Rolls.

In December 2010, with the help of a capital grant from the European  Regional Development Fund (ERDF)  Business Enterprise Fund, which is administered by Shropshire Council, he set up the business in a small unit at the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre in Shrewsbury.

Business has been so good that he has now moved – thanks to a further grant from ERDF Business Enterprise Fund and support from Shropshire Council – to a much bigger unit at the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre.  He now employs 10 people and supplies sausage rolls to a wide range of customers across the country, including Harrods and The Co-operative.

Ivan estimates that the company produces some 500,000 sausage rolls every year.

He said:

“I’m extremely grateful for the support received from Shropshire Council, which has made it possible for me to push my business forward in difficult times, and for me to help the local economy through offering new jobs and supporting local businesses that supply the ingredients for our gourmet sausage rolls.” 

Mike Owen, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for economic growth and prosperity, said:

“Coopers Gourmet Sausage Rolls is a real business success story, and I’m delighted that, with help from Shropshire Council and some hard work, Ivan was able to start the business and go on to enjoy such success.”

Ivan uses local pork and a range of other local ingredients to give his sausage rolls a point of difference.  There are 20 pork-based sausage rolls in the range including: ‘The Shropshire One’ with caramelised onion and Shropshire Blue; ‘The Local One’ with leek and sage; ‘Piggy Black’ with black pudding and apple, and ‘The Welsh One’ with lava bread and Welsh grainy mustard.  A range of limited editions are made available throughout the year.

The sausage rolls are supplied both frozen-raw and cooked-chilled.

The business was named ‘Coopers’ after Ivan’s grandad Fred Cooper, who was a pig farmer near Wellington.

To contact Coopers Gourmet Sausage Rolls, call 01743 441811.  To contact Shropshire Council’s Business and Enterprise Team please call 01743 252596.

The Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre is a state of the art incubator centre for food production companies established and owned by Shropshire Council on the Battlefield Enterprise Centre.  It provides a range of production units at very competitive rents. Management of the centre is by Heart of England Fine Foods, on behalf of Shropshire Council.

For information about  the ERDF Business Enterprise Fund, go to shropshire.gov.uk/sbef.