HECK’s young team are rising stars of Northern Food Enterprise

HECK is celebrating after being ranked third in the Startups 100 2016, with their success being noted by Startups as largely due to young enterprise.

The family and friends team behind Heck, invited local Richmond MP, Rishi Sunak, to celebrate by looking round the company’s fast-growing factory.

The Startups 100 is the only index of its kind which ranks the UK’s 100 fast growth-potential new businesses launched in the last three years. One of the team who welcomed Rishi to the factory is Ellie Keeble who, at 21, is the youngest entrepreneur in the index.  Ellie is also heading up a new UK-wide campaign to get out into schools to talk about entrepreneurship and food and farming as a serious career choice.

HECK is planning an ambitious expansion programme this year, creating a state-of-the-art production unit and centre of excellence for food in the district. The team has recently gained planning permission to transform a family farm into an exciting new experience in food and drink.

“We work extremely hard as a team and are passionate about making great quality food whilst creating a rewarding and fun place to work,” says HECK’s Ellie Keeble. “Our family motto is ‘Give ‘Em Heck’ and we’re never afraid to try something new.”

Rishi Sunak says, “I’m passionate about inspiring young people to build their careers in Yorkshire.  What’s great about Heck is that they are putting something back into the community, by providing job and educational opportunities for young people and proving that you don’t always need a University degree to get ahead in life and create a highly successful and sustainable business. We should be supporting businesses like this on a local and national scale to highlight North Yorkshire as a county of enterprise and success”.

Local MP Rishi Sunak visits the HECK factory

With innovation and healthy eating at its heart, the company’s mission to bring the best sausages, burgers and meatballs to market and increased listings driven by consumer demand are taking the industry by storm. Started four years ago by the Keeble family and friends, HECK has gone from standing start to £12m in three years.  Success has been propelled by the launch of several award-winning, gluten-free ranges including traditional pork, lower fat chicken and a new vegetarian range aimed at smashing the taste-free reputation associated with many mainstream veggie products.

Whilst the total sausage market is in overall volume and value decline, it is still premiumising with people buying better quality, more expensive sausages.  HECK is bucking the trend and is now the clear market leader in the premium sector with +89% growth in new shoppers.  In the last 12 months, in addition to being listed in Asda, Booths, Tesco and Waitrose, they’ve struck deals with Budgens, Co-op, Costco, Morrison’s, Ocado and Sainsbury’s which has seen their products go on sale in an additional 2,000 stores since the start of the year.

HECK ranked third in Start ups 100 2016

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