HECK, the fastest growing company in Yorkshire, is launching a new mentoring scheme to support and encourage other Yorkshire-based food businesses, in the wake of grant funding being pulled in the county post Brexit.
North Yorkshire based HECK are one of the fastest-growing UK businesses in the sector and are on track to make £30 million in 2019.
Co-founder Andrew Keeble said: “For us, it’s all about doing things differently and innovating all the time. We were the first to launch a chicken sausage and now have a full range of fantastic plant based vegan sausages and burgers as well as being the first company to launch a vegan breakfast sausage. Our What the Heck approach allows us to do things differently and we’re now hoping to inspire the next generation of food business in the county.”
Farmers turned producers, Heck built their £30 million factory on the old family farm and have tapped into the trend of clean, lean and tasty eating. Along the way, the company have invested in the best of engineering excellence, and recently installed a £1 million sausage machine that makes up to 60,000 sausage an hour.
Andrew continues “We have experienced the “sink hole” of Brexit when our funding was pulled for our £4 million visitor centre and sausage world. There’s now no money for rural enterprises and we believe we can make a difference by opening our doors to local food innovators.”
Keen to share their expertise and enthusiasm, HECK founders Andrew and Debbie and their experienced team are now looking for local businesses who would like some guidance on their next steps in the industry. Companies will be invited to an open day in April for a brainstorm to begin the process of establishing a centre of food excellence in the Vale of York – or the “Silicon Valley” of food as Andrew is describes it.
Ten small regional start-ups will be given the opportunity to join this ‘Silicon Valley’-style community.
One company already benefiting from HECK’s support is A Go-Go, a vegan rice pudding company founded by Adam Dick, who is now manufacturing his products in HECK’s factory. Adam has also benefitted from the opportunity to consult with HECK’s design team for advice on style and branding, supported all the way by Andrew and Debbie.
Heck has continued to enjoy growth but are very aware that post Brexit and in current market conditions it’s never the time to rest on its laurels.
“We need to keep innovating, says Andrew, “We’re well aware the big boys are watching our every move but they simply cannot compete on quality, taste and our amazing people who are the back bone of the business. Growth has also created profit, we which are able to invest back into the business and community and develop the Heck family”
Businesses interested in being involved should email the HECK team with 500 words about your food idea to email@example.com