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30 October, 2012 - 12:00 By Tony Quested

Clydesdale cash funds Masteroast expansion

From the left, Andy Fawkes (Masteroast), Marie-Anne Rogers (trainee buyer at Masteroast) and Steve Woods (Clydesdale Bank)

An independent coffee roasting and packaging company is full of beans after securing £1million funding from Clydesdale Bank – enabling it to buy its 40,000 sq ft premises in Peterborough.

Masteroast, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, moved to larger leased premises in Newark Road in 2009 to cope with growth. Although it now roasts enough coffee to make more than a quarter of a billion cups a year, the company remains the secret behind many successful private label brand and operates a strictly trade only policy.

The success of the expanding business has meant owners Les and Eve Mills have now acquired the freehold for their premises thanks to backing from Clydesdale Bank’s Business Banking Centre in Peterborough.

Around 70 staff are involved in the roasting and blending of over 60 different types of beans from Central and South America, Africa and Asia and many special origins such as Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Cuba. Managing director Andy Fawkes said: “When we moved to the site four years ago, Clydesdale Bank was the only bank offering the flexibility we needed at the time.

“They helped finance our £1 million investment in state-of-the-art German roasting equipment in Euros, which allowed us to take advantage of our income from European trade and protect ourselves from currency movements.

“We had an option to buy the premises after four years, which we have now taken after Clydesdale Bank provided the most flexible package for a further £1 million. “Having invested so heavily in the new facility, we were keen to secure the freehold and, again, Clydesdale Bank delivered.

“We have expanded our packing lines to 11 and we are proud of the fact that one out of every nine cups of coffee which is drunk away from the home is supplied by our 400 customers through regional and national distributors.”

Masteroast has recently implemented a 24-hour shift pattern to meet seasonal demand between now and Christmas. And it has launched a training academy, from where it now offers NVQ level courses to the hospitality industry. Fawkes added: “We now have one of the country’s most modern academies for training and teaching our customers.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: From the left, Andy Fawkes (Masteroast), Marie-Anne Rogers (trainee buyer at Masteroast) and Steve Woods (Clydesdale Bank)

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