Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths (centre) with Hilltop Honey’s managing director Scott Davies and invited guests at the official opening ceremony.
An award-winning Welsh honey company is enjoying the sweet taste of success after expanding to a new production base.
Hilltop Honey has outgrown its previous 2,500 sq ft home in the village of Caersws and now occupies a 14,000 sq ft unit in Newtown where the company expects to expand its workforce from 12 to 20 by the end of the year.
The company’s new headquarters was officially opened by Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths.
The £750,000 expansion project has been supported by the Welsh Government, Natwest Bank, and Finance Wales.
The expansion comes following huge company growth since managing director Scott Davies launched the business six years ago.
Hilltop Honey now includes Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Holland & Barrett and online retailer Ocado amongst its UK customers and is also expanding into export markets worldwide.
Scott Davies said: “We are thrilled that our contracts with the major supermarkets are growing, but we needed to expand to fulfil our orders and to keep pace with the growth projected in our business plan.
“We are an ambitious company with exciting plans for the next five years and our new premises mean that we can increase production and hire more staff. We are looking to diversify our brand and strengthen our place in the UK honey market, so watch this space!”
The new investment has allowed Scott to customise the business unit and buy new food hygiene equipment and an automatic jar filling line.
Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths said: “The Welsh Government is committed to supporting food companies of all sizes across Wales as we strive to grow the industry over the next few years.
“We were happy to support Hilltop Honey with nearly a quarter of a million pounds as it is an excellent example of a successful, growing food company, playing its part in enhancing Wales’ burgeoning reputation for producing high quality food and drink”.
A home-grown success story for Wales, beekeeper Scott Davies started the business in his parents’ kitchen with a £5,000 overdraft from Natwest Bank in 2011.
Six years later, he is supplying Welsh, British and European honey, comb honey and bee pollen to major High Street, online and international customers.
The company, which expects to double turnover again this year, is no stranger to success, having won a coveted Golden Fork Award for its Thyme Honey, judged the best ambient food product at last year’s Great Taste Awards - the Oscars of the food world.