Peppup, the Portaferry-based developer and producer of authentic Italian sauces, has won its biggest UK retail business, writes Sam Butler.
The company, established in 2013 by Luca Montorio, is to supply its unique ketchup and pasta sauces to TK Maxx UK stores throughout the United Kingdom.
The contract, announced by Mr Montorio, a native of Turin but now resident in Northern Ireland, is a major breakthrough for the small business in Great Britain and was signed following the company’s participation with Food NI at the big Scotland Speciality Food Show in Glasgow in January.
The Food NI presentation in Glasgow was assisted by Invest NI. Peppup is also a Food NI member company.
Mr Montorio, commenting on the deal, says: “I was thrilled to hear that the TK Maxx buyer attended the show specifically to talk to me about becoming a national supplier.
“A significant contract followed, representing my single biggest retail order. I’ve begun supplying products to the TK Maxx depot for distribution to the network of stores across the UK. It’s great working with such a progressive retail brand.
“The buyer recognises that my sauces are all about flavour, with roasted peppers the main ingredient, and was impressed by their outstanding taste,” he says.
“Winning this business with such a prestigious store chain as TK Maxx is a marvellous boost for the Peppup range of products and, of course, for the business because it gives us a strong platform in Britain, a market I’ve been targeting for some considerable time. It demonstrates too that taking part in trade shows in Britain really does work for smaller food businesses. The Food NI team is immensely supportive of smaller companies,” he adds.
Peppup supplies a wide range of outlets in Northern Ireland and the Republic, including leading delis, independent retailers and farm shops, with its range of sauces. The company’s products have won UK Great Taste Awards for excellence.
The company also provides catering packs and has won significant business with restaurants in cafes in Northern Ireland and the Republic.
TK Maxx UK is part of the US TJX Group which has an international network of stores. It specialises in brand names, including clothing, housewares and gourmet food, at value prices. There are six TK Maxx stores in Northern Ireland and 13 in Britain.