A family-run ice cream company based in Worcestershire has secured a £11,660 grant that will allow it to increase production four fold and take on two new workers.
Spot Loggins was founded in 2004 and produces luxury ice cream using organic milk from the 800-acre Bretforton House Farm.
It is the latest recipient of a grant from the Worcestershire LEADER Programme. LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England and is delivered locally by Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire Local Action Group on behalf of Defra.
The money means Spot Loggins can purchase a new ice cream machine, an aging VAT to store the mix before production and a large storage container freezer.
The farm in the village of Bretforton in the Vale of Evesham has been run by the Appleby family for nearly 60 years.
All the ice cream is made from the farm’s milk and the flavourings are all natural and sourced locally as far as possible.
They produce a range of 16 flavours throughout the year in three different sizes. Customers include The National Trust, English Heritage, farm shops, local supermarket, theatres, restaurants and pubs.
Phoebe Appleby from Spot Loggins said: “This funding has enabled us to purchase a new machine which can increase our production by four times enabling us to supply larger customers.
“This in turn will mean we will increase the number of jobs available, we hope to produce at least two new full times jobs.
“As well as increasing jobs we will also be able to reduce our overheads which will free up more money to invest in grow of the business. We will also have more time available to approach a lot more customers which will then increase turnover.”
She added: “I would advise other people thinking of applying for LEADER that, with careful research and preparation, this funding can play a vital role in the development of a small business.
“LEADER has enabled us to take a giant step forward. We were treading water as far as our business development was concerned. In order to move on we needed to invest in new equipment to enable us to produce more ice cream in less time which, in turn, enabling us to approach larger customers and increase our sales and turnover.”
The focus of the LEADER programme is on growing the economies of rural communities by enabling local people to identify and implement solutions to local problems.
Jill Hall, Chair of the Local Action Group, said: “LEADER is all about helping the county’s rural small businesses to grow.
“Many business owners have great ideas and the commitment to take their business to the next stage but lack the financial resources to make their plans and dreams a reality.”