Tony Calderia: Caldeira Ltd

Focus: Soft furnishings

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Tony Caldeira
Age: 34
Company: Caldeira Ltd

Caldeira has created one of the UK's fastest growing companies in a collapsing industry. Started in 1991, the 6m-turnover cushion manufacturer, based in St Helens, now employes 130 staff in the UK and a further 100 in China. This has been achieved through organic growth, although £1m in bank debt funding was secured to develop the business's new factory and £250,000 was awarded by the DTI as part of a programme to regenerate Merseyside. The biggest challenge Caldeira faces is, having established itself at the top of the UK tree, to grow through exporting and divesification.

2012 update:

In the past eight years the textiles company has expanded into the US, opening a store on New York's prestigious Fifth Avenue. Turnover has broken the £20m mark and employee numbers have risen considerably. Tony Caldeira himself has unsuccessfully run for Mayor of Liverpool and seen his company feature in two documentaries, Brits Get Rich in China on Channel 4 and The Town Taking on China on BBC.

2017 update:

Caldeira bought 14 Fabric Warehouse stores in 2008, but had to reduce this to seven due to difficult trading conditions. Fabric warehouse went bust in February 2016 and was forced to go through refinancing. Despite his previously unsuccessful attempt, the entrepreneur was named as the Conservative candidate for the 2017 Liverpool City Region mayoral election.

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