Enterprise Loans helps more food and drink businesses to thrive

Martin and Jess Barnett of Treat Kitchen

Enterprise Loans helps more food and drink businesses to thrive

Over the last six months, Business support provider Enterprise Loans has given a funding boost to more start-ups and businesses than ever in the East Midlands.  

The not-for-profit organisation, formerly known as First Enterprise, provides loans and business advice and has given out nearly £1.5 million in much-needed cash to 85 fledging companies and growing organisations across the region, since April 1.

The businesses which have benefitted are primarily within the food and drink sector, one which Enterprise Loans has a strong history in supporting.

Earlier this year, four out of the five businesses it had previously supported and put forward for the 2017 Nottingham Post Food and Drink Awards were shortlisted, including Junkyard in Bridlesmith Walk, run by Nigel Garlick and Sam Dean, which won Best Drink’s Venue.

Entrepreneurial duo Nigel and Sam, who run Junkbars Ltd, received £50,000 worth of loans from First Enterprise to launch Junkyard, a specialist craft beer bar, and their latest venture the Herbert Kilpin Public House in Nottingham - which opened last year.

Herbert Kilpin was named after the founder of Italian football club A.C Milan who hails from Nottingham. It’s the third pub to be set up by the pair who also run popular cocktail bar Boilermaker in Nottingham’s Lace Market.

Nigel said: “We’ve always found Enterprise Loans to be really supportive and the success of our venues wouldn’t have been possible without its financial backing.”

Another Nottingham company to have benefitted from Enterprise Loans’ support is the Treat Kitchen, which was shortlisted for growth in the 2016 Citi Micro Entrepreneurship Awards.

Set up by entrepreneurial couple Jess and Martin Barnett in 2014, The Treat Kitchen is an independent, family run confectionary that received £25,000 from Enterprise Loans to help it achieve strategic growth.

Neil Millington, loan fund manager at Enterprise Loans, said: “Jess and Martin are a great inspiration for other entrepreneurs and those looking to follow their career dreams.

“In the short space of about three years, their business has grown from one to five stores and has products available across hundreds of locations due to their wholesale arm.

“They also now employ 42 full and part-time staff – a brilliant achievement.”

The Incredible Bakery Company, in Northamptonshire, received a loan of £20,000 from First Enterprise to help it expand just last month.

The bakery was set up by Valeria and James Turner after they discovered their son Leon was affected by multiple food allergies and spotted a gap in the market for tasty, allergen-free produce.

As a result, all their produce is coeliac and vegan-friendly as well as being free from gluten, dairy, eggs and soya. 

Since launching, the bakery has received multiple awards and now sells its products across the country to caterers, food outlets and specialist retailers.

Neil added: “We are passionate about helping to grow businesses and support entrepreneurs.

“We know there are many people out there that just need a financial boost to enable their businesses to develop and flourish and we want them to know that we are here and ready to help.

“The last six months have been record breaking for us and we are looking forward to an exciting year ahead. It is more apparent than ever that Midlands businesses need our support to flourish.

“Whether they need funding and advice or help getting started or investing in new premises or equipment, we are here to support them.”