3. HECK

The family-run sausage start-up achieving multi-million revenues and topping supermarket listings

Founders: Andrew Keeble, Debbie Keeble, Jamie Keeble, Roddy Keeble, and Ellie Keeble
Founded: October 2013 (launched April 2014)
Website: www.heckfood.co.uk

You would think that a start-up would be at a disadvantage going after an established market but, in the case of sausage and burger business HECK, it just goes to show a small business can take on big brand competition and succeed.

Launched in April 2014 – the second venture for co-founders Andrew and Debbie Keeble following their eponymous brand ‘Debbie & Andrew’s’ – and run by young sibling trio Roddy, Jamie and Ellie, HECK is the only independent premium sausage brand in the sector which specialises in gluten-free recipes.

HECK’s fast-growing range uses a minimum of 85% pork and extends to heart shaped patties, square sausages, skinless sausages, and even low-fat chicken sausages. More recently, the company has branched out with a vegetarian range which includes sausages made with goat’s cheese, nuts, and ‘super greens’.

Using its “refreshingly honest” approach, the business has attracted the attention of major UK retailers and its products are now stocked on the shelves of Tesco, Waitrose, ASDA, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s, to name a few.

These top supermarket listings have enabled the company, which is already profitable, to ‘beef up’ sales and it achieved revenues of £5.7m for the year to July 2015, with turnover of £12m projected for 2016.

With a team of over 50 staff, the Keebles say they have created one of the fastest growing brands in the UK and they intend to maintain this status by building a “state of the art” production site, warehouse site, and visitor centre on their Yorkshire farm in Kirklington. Time will tell if this start-up continues to sizzle…

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