Stroud based food business Kitchen Garden Foods, which owns the Wolfys & NAFF food brands says business is back on track with higher than pre-pandemic levels of sales.
James Horwood, Director and joint owner of Kitchen Garden Foods said: “The last couple of years have been crazy, full of highs and lows. One minute your business is taking a battering, and the next you’re seeing orders flood in.”
The pandemic was a turbulent time for many food manufacturers with the closing of restaurants, hotels, pubs, leisure & travel sectors forcing many manufacturers to lean heavily on grants, including furlough to stay afloat. But Kitchen Garden have managed to bounce back, with success.
Horwood added: “ I remember when Lockdown 1 kicked in, suddenly everything closed, the whole economy just shut down, it was crazy. I mean, we’ve seen a lot in our 32 year history but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous about what KG would look like post-pandemic, or if it would even exist anymore.
“Fortunately for us, we’re not heavily laden with debt or other large commitments and we have a long shelf life product so we managed to weather the storm pretty well. We furloughed our entire workforce on day 1, and gradually brought staff back as sales picked up. But myself and James Moinet, (also co-owner) had to constantly think on our feet and navigate a maze of ever-changing covid policies, all while ensuring our staff were happy and as relaxed as they can be during such an incredibly stressful period. It was an immensely testing time for us personally, and for the business, but looking back now I am unequivocally confident that we made all the right decisions at all the right times, and ultimately, that shored us up..”
Kitchen Garden now say they’re back on track and enjoying sales above pre-pandemic levels.
James said: “Now, having just finished our 21-22 year, business is better than ever! We’ve secured lots of new customers and our sales are the highest they’ve been in our history. We’re certainly back to pre-pandemic levels, and some. Wolfys sales are up again this year with new contracts including British Airways and our most recent brand, NAFF, has doubled it’s sales in the last 12 months, with loads more customers coming on board for that. Not only that, but we’re now manufacturing more product for other brands than we’ve ever done.
But, despite the rollercoaster, one thing that really stands out to me is that the pandemic has pulled us all together. We all feel much closer as a team than ever before. And that’s the most important thing to me.”
Founded in 1989, Kitchen Garden now employs around 20 staff at their site in Salmon Springs, Stroud and have received over 100 awards and has products in over a thousand outlets across the UK and overseas. All of their products are made by hand, in small batches, using only natural ingredients.