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Funding helps Soave scoop new deals

Cream of contracts: Valerie Adam and Eric Soave

A Lanarkshire ice cream maker has secured a number of contracts following the completion of a £200,000 investment programme.

Soave’s Ice Cream ploughed the money into new machinery increasing production to 3,500 litres per day and doubling the size of the freezer storage room within its dairy.

Further investment in branding, packaging, marketing, and a re-design of its website was also undertaken and the company exhibited at key trade shows for the first time this year, including at The Royal Highland Show. 

The family firm, which employs 14 in Muirhead, secured contracts with JB Food, Bidfood, and Reids Food Services, Scotmid and Morrison’s stores in Scotland.

Valerie Adam, general manager at Soave’s, said: “A lot of hard work and a significant amount of investment has gone into changing the way we work, helping us transform the business so that it can meet the demands of our rapidly growing order book.

“Our Business Gateway adviser Paul McIlvenny’s knowledge and connections have helped us throughout the whole process, linking us with experts and helping us secure funding that made the expansion possible.

“In particular, his help with our successful By Design Grant application allowed us to create a new website, re-brand, take product photography, set up Facebook, brand our vehicles, and produce a brochure that has helped us secure a significant amount of new and repeat business in the past six months.

“He also helped us successfully apply for a Capital and Infrastructure Grant from North Lanarkshire Council that allowed us to expand our dairy’s freezer storage and linked us with the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Services (SMAS) whose input helped us secure SALSA certification.

“Because we have increased production capacity and storage, we are now able to stock build our product for the first time which gives us the potential to add further production shifts when demand dictates.”

Mr McIlvenny, adviser, Business Gateway Lanarkshire, said: “Soave’s is a business that has been at the heart of the local community for over 70 years.

“The management team knew that our expertise would help them achieve their ambitious growth plans.

“As well as linking them with Scottish Enterprise, SMAS, and North Lanarkshire Council we were also able to help them secure grants to work with a marketing consultant and attend the Royal Highland show, which ultimately led to a potential partnership currently being discussed that could see their products go UK wide next year.”

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