Cool move for frozen food firm

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A FROZEN food firm has got business success licked after a multi-million-pound expansion into new premises.

The cool move by frozen food and ice cream wholesale and distribution company Eden Farm means it has been able to take on 20 more staff, with scope for more in the future.

In the last five years alone, the business has grown from strength to strength, with staff numbers increasing from 56 to around 120.

The expansion sees the company moving from its current base at Armstrong Road, on the North East Industrial Estate, to bigger premises on a four-acre site at Cook Way, on the town’s North West Industrial Estate.

The new site, which serves as head office for its satellite branches in Bradford, Glasgow, Cardiff and London, will incorporate a new cold store, several offices for telesales, finance and sales staff, and a base for warehousing staff and drivers.

Company director Frank Stephenson said: “As a consequence of the expansion we have already managed to employ more people, with another 20 staff taken on in the last year.

“With the right sort of planning, there will be scope for further growth.”

Mr Stephenson said the expansion was essential in the current economic situation. “We needed to make the business more efficient,” he said.

“It’s a very difficult economic climate and by consolidating things in one bigger site and by working with better systems, with staff taking great pride in their work and the continued support of our customers and suppliers we can continue to grow and continuously improve.”

Mr Stephenson said the secret to the business’s success, when many are struggling, is “hard work, very careful planning and working very closely with the blessing and support of suppliers and customers”.

He added that Eden Farm strives to seek the best deals for its customers, in the competitive negotiation process, which leads to knock-on success for themselves.

The new site will be officially opened on September 20 and Easington MP Grahame Morris and One North East’s director of business and industry, Ian Williams, will attend.

Eden Farm, which supplies companies all over the UK, from major retailers like the Co-op to more independent retailers, as well as cinemas, theme parks and factories, was founded in 1964, with a site at Castle Eden.

Since then it has been in Peterlee for more than 20 years, having previously been at Bracken Hill Industrial Estate before moving to Armstrong Road.