Bridge Cheese, which supplies cheese and dairy products to the food manufacturing and food service sectors, is expanding its Telford production facility to double capacity after a strong year of growth.
The factory square footage will be expanding by 35% and an additional production line added to meet growing customer demand. As well as a sizeable investment in new state-of-the-art equipment for formatting cheese, Bridge Cheese is also rolling out a new business system to improve stock control and reporting.
Managing director Michael Harte said the decision to expand in Telford was the result of an unprecedented year of growth and the company’s desire to meet the needs of its new and existing customer base.
“We’re really excited about the expansion here in Telford which will see us install an additional production line with brand new, top of the line equipment. This increased capability means that we can be flexible to our customers’ needs, scaling up our production as and when required,” said Mr Harte.
The company’s expansion comes on the back of strong sales in 2020 and a decision to focus on export markets outside of the EU. One of its key markets is the supply of cheese for pizza and take-away products, which rocketed in popularity during the pandemic while restaurants and pubs were closed.
Mr Harte said: “Last year was a year that no-one saw coming but it was a defining moment for the takeaway food industry in particular and the increase in demand for pizza was a big plus for Bridge Cheese, as it’s one of our key markets.”
“However, we expect the landscape to shift again in 2021 as we head towards a wider economic recovery and more of our food service sector customers open their doors fully.
“We have planned for this with a strategy based on our customer’s needs and giving them quality and flexibility at all times. If the last year has taught us anything, it is that we need to remain agile to customer and market demands, to help us ride the trends, whatever they may be.
“Increasing our production capacity and having a bigger team in place is a huge part of delivering this strategy so we can continue to support our customers through the good and more difficult times.”
“As well as investing in our production facilities, we’ve also significantly invested in product research and development over the last year, as many of our cheese and dairy products are bespoke. We have a wide range of cost effective and functional cheese blends created to provide our customers with the exact product they need.
“This is a really exciting period for us as a company and we are looking forward to future.”
Bridge Cheese was started in 2018 by Mr Harte and an experienced senior team with more than 80 years of collective experience in the food industry. The company offers a wide range of cheese and dairy products to food manufacturers and food service clients, wholesalers and for export. This includes cheddars, hard cheeses and mozzarella products as well as bespoke functional cheese for a variety of food manufacturing sectors.