The Yorkshire food firm thriving under family leadership

Award-winning family food firm HECK have started 2017 with a bang after being named the fourth fastest growing private company in the UK and the top-ranked Yorkshire company in the annual Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100.

The company, based near Bedale in North Yorkshire produce premium sausages, burgers and meatballs and were one of six Yorkshire companies to make the league table, all of whom have been featured before.

The 20th anniversary edition of the Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales.  HECK who featured on the list in 2015, has maintained its 4th place nationally and 1st place regionally in this year’s league.

Taking its name from the family motto ‘what the heck’ the gourmet food company was founded by husband and wife team Andrew and Debbie Keeble and three of their children in 2013, a its products are now stocked in all of the major supermarkets.

With a team of 70 staff, which has an average age of 25, sales have grown 170% a year to £11.2m in 2016 and the firm is now the UK’s number one premium sausage brand.

Priding themselves on superb quality products with a twist on the traditional, the Keebles now own 40pc market share in the high end category and are one of the last independents in the British sausage industry.

Company co-founder Jamie Keeble says, “We don’t try and make the same products as everyone else and this is what sets us apart from our competitors.  We also listen to what our customers want and can be quick to bring new, innovative and healthier versions of favourite foods to the supermarket shelves.  Our ranking in this year’s Fast Track is a feather in the cap for our whole team who are passionate about making good food and bringing it to as many people across the country as possible.”

2017 will see the opening of HECK’s new food factory on the site of the old family farm, featuring state of the art machinery capable of producing 700 sausages per minute.  It will also include a ‘sausage world’ to give consumers an insight into the production of the humble banger.