Leyburn gluten free businesses gets funding for expansion

From left, Dave Fleming, Barry Gill, of TIG Corporate Finance, Sue Fleming, and Lyndsey McMenamin, of FW Capital.

A Leyburn business has been boosted by new investment as demand soars for its range of gluten and ‘free-from’ food.

NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, which is managed by FW Capital and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, has provided a six-figure loan to assist The Gluten Free Kitchen with its growth and the creation of five new jobs.

The business was established in 2005 by Sue Fleming after she saw the challenges faced by people with coeliac disease when sourcing good quality food that is free from gluten.

Sue began to experiment with a series of recipes and created dishes which are today available from The Gluten Free Kitchen’s online store.

A selection of products are also available in a selected number of Waitrose Stores, online at Ocado, as well as independent outlets and farm shops throughout the UK.

The product range includes ‘free from’ cakes, puddings, and savoury pies.

Sue’s Gluten Free Kitchen started in Aysgarth and moved to larger production facilities and a retail outlet on Leyburn Business Park.

The company plans to move to larger premises on the business park to accommodate the increased demand.

Sue Fleming, director at The Gluten Free Kitchen, said: “Our ‘free from’ ethos is centred around flavour and quality. I’m proud to have created a delicious range of foods that doesn’t compromise on flavour.

“The increased demand for our product ranges means we need more staff who will also be part of our expansion journey into larger premises.

“We’re fit for bursting at the moment and are excited to be creating more jobs.

“Without the support of Keith Charlton and Lindsey McMenamin at FW Capital we wouldn’t be able to do this.”

Lindsey McMenamin, portfolio manager at FW Capital, added: “Sue’s passion for the business is evident and she has created a successful and innovative brand which provides consumers with gluten intolerance with a wide variety of choice.

“The Gluten Free Kitchen is today a prominent brand serving the UK coeliac community.

“With demand for ‘free from’ products rising, Sue needed further working capital to support the creation of new jobs and the expansion of the business.

“I’m thrilled to be part of this and help The Gluten Free Kitchen with their next stage of development.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.