A commercial catering equipment firm in Pudsey has invested in new machinery and vehicles, with the support of a funding package from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Hopkins Catering Equipment makes kitchen equipment for restaurants and catering businesses, and recently secured a national contract to supply the refurbishment of 14 Harry Ramsden’s restaurants at Welcome Break service stations across the country.
To help meet the new order, which includes producing and delivering 14 fish frying ranges, the company has purchased three new vehicles and a new £40,000 press brake for fabricating stainless steel catering products from sheet metal.
Victoria Hopkins, managing director of Hopkins Catering Equipment, said: “The new contract win is a huge boost for us, and will help us compete for much larger contracts in the future.
“Our cooking products are also in increasing demand in America and Australia. Over the past few years export sales have also taken off massively, rising from around one per cent of turnover in 2012 to 11 per cent last year.”
The surge in work has seen the business take on an extra eight members of staff this year to join its team of 50, and the company is looking to recruit another five in the coming months.
The company approached Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking for an asset finance facility to purchase the new vehicles and the press brake, in addition to an increased overdraft facility to support the extra working capital needs of the new contract.
Victoria added: “Lloyds Bank has been immensely supportive of our growth plans over the years, and has offered us a range of lending that has enabled us to take on new equipment and vehicles as and when we’ve needed them.”
Gary Whitaker, relationship manager for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Hopkins Catering Equipment is a great example of a family run business that has grown steadily in a highly competitive sector through exporting and through the high quality of its products and services.
“Our specialist manufacturing teams regularly work with firms like Hopkins to ensure that they have access to the support and guidance necessary to continue to drive their growth, and also receive training form the University of Warwick to ensure that they fully understand the issues faced by firms in the sector.”