Star Agro Marine Foods has sealed more than £4m of new business in the last six months and is marking this milestone by opening a new trade counter in the heart of the Black Country.
The manufacturer of sustainable shrimp is planning to capitalise on the growing trend of ‘do it yourself chefs’ by offering its Star Feast range of products to the public.
More than £100,000 has been invested in expanding into a second adjacent unit on the Fallings Park Industrial Estate and equipping it with a new cold storage unit, display freezers and a product picking area.
A trade counter manager has already been appointed and an additional driver taken on to cope with the expansion, taking the number of people working at the business to 11.
Steve Money, managing director of Star Agro Marine Foods said: "The amount of TV programmes dedicated to cooking is inspiring a whole new wave of ambitious chefs, who are exploring new tastes and new foods.
"This means there is an increasing demand for high quality shrimps and white fish, including tilapia, cod and pangasius fish. We’ve seen it from the big supermarket chains we supply and the restaurant/hotel trade…now we’re beginning to see it from individuals and families who want to buy in smaller quantities.
"The trade counter, which is open six days per week, gives people the chance to come down and buy shrimp that is direct from some of the best sustainable farms in India and Bangladesh. They can buy one, two or three bags…there’s no minimum quantity.
"We’d like to do £100,000 in the first year…that would be a good result. "
2016 has been a major year of growth for the Wolverhampton firm, with sales up by £4m despite currency fluctuations caused by Brexit.
Two high street retailers have signed significant deals and the company’s wholesale business has quadrupled over the last six months and now lists high profile Chinese and Asian restaurants amongst its client base.
Mohammed Khan, owner of Bilash restaurant in the City and consultant to Star Agro Marine Foods, said: "This is just the start of a really ambitious sales drive for the business and the next six months will see us launch another new Star Agro brand, introduce new products to the range and create our own ordering and delivery ‘App’.
"The latter will be available on Android and iPhone and gives our customers the opportunity to place orders and have them delivered direct to their door."
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