A FORMER stockbroker who launched his own food dressings business after being made redundant is increasing production and taking on three staff after investing in a new bottling line.
Colin Hanna launched the business in 2007 and has spent £60,000 of his own money on the Italian-manufactured plant which will see the production of his balsamic dressing increase from 400 bottles a day to a potential 10,000.
He believes the investment in his Little Doone Foods business, which moved into a 3,500 sq ft premises in Alva Industrial Estate last year after securing a £20,000 Regional Selective Assistance grant with the help of Business Gateway Clackmannanshire, will enable him to target more high-end stockists.
Hanna said: “The business has always been blessed with more work than it can handle – in the run-up to Christmas I was working day and night to meet client demand. This new production line will not only allow me to produce much more than the 60,000 bottles I poured last year, I will be able to take on three new staff and reduce the trade price of our most popular bottle, making it even more attractive to our core market of independent retailers and small, specialist supermarket and deli chains.”
Hanna is in talks with a small supermarket chain that covers the north of England and believes the factory’s new capacity will enable a deal to be agreed sooner than originally planned.
He launched the venture after being unable to find a balsamic dressing that matched the one he tasted in a restaurant.
After some trial and error he came up with a recipe and the response from family and friends convinced him to launch the business, initially working from a leased kitchen at the Scottish Rural College’s Ayr campus.
The company’s products are now stocked in 250 outlets through the UK, including Loch Fyne seafood restaurants and shops, Chatsworth House and Hopetoun House Farm Shop.