The Russian Food Company, a Sheffield-based business that specialises in creating traditional, hand-crafted Russian pies, is on track to build upon its award-winning reputation and expand into new markets after securing a £25,000 investment from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE).
Founded in April 2017 by entrepreneurs Leeza Murina and Steve Jones, who spotted a gap in the market for a creation that combines authentic Russian pie making traditions with modern British flavours, The Russian Food Company Ltd created the “St.Petersburg”® Premium Piroshki.
Now, the duo have produced over 25 variations of the delicacy which are available through their online shop (RussianPies.com), farmers’ markets and food festivals across the nation.
The investment comes at the end of a successful 12 months for the company, which won Sheffield City Region Growth Hub’s Y-Accelerator programme in March of last year, and will allow the team to continue expanding the business. The funding and support from UKSE will contribute to The Russian Food Company’s expansion into major high street retailers as well as the national farm shop and delicatessen sector during 2019.
Its products were showcased at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham and they won Speciality Food Magazine’s award for “best new world food producer” in October 2018.
Their most prestigious recognition to date came from The Great Taste Awards which saw their Sea Bass & Cod Piroshki win a three-star commendation – one of only 190 products out of 13,000 entries to achieve this high level accolade.
Co-Founder Leeza said: “I’m delighted with the growth we’ve achieved since launching in 2017 and, with the UKSE investment, am looking forward to taking the business to the next level.
“The demand for our pies is growing at pace and so we’re looking into ways in which we can manage and sustain this growth in order to meet our ambitious projections.”
UK Steel Enterprise is a subsidiary of Tata Steel and provide equity and loan finance to growing companies.
Alan Stanley, regional executive at UK Steel Enterprise Ltd, said: “It’s wonderful to hear of the successes that Leeza and Steve have achieved since taking part in Y-Accelerator this time last year and I have no doubt that their dedication and drive will see the business continue to thrive.”