Blessed is the cheesemaker - who aims to expand business tenfold
PUBLISHED: 15:46 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:25 26 September 2019
The founder of one of Norfolk's Future 50 businesses is hoping to gain advice and insight from his cohort peers, as he reveals plans to grow his business by 10 times this year.
Sam Steggles opened his goat's cheese manufacturing company Fielding Cottage 10 years ago with just 10 goats.
Now, Mr Steggles has received orders from major supermarkets such as Morrisons, as well as having his produce served on first-class flights around the world.
And this month he has signed a deal for his products to go into Vintage Inns pubs - which owns the likes of the Marsh Harrier on Ipswich Road.
"It's daunting," said Mr Steggles. "We currently make about 10 tonnes a year and this will be going up to around 80 to 100 a year."
Mr Steggles, who also runs a holiday cottage business at the same site where he produces his cheese, continued: "I'm looking forward to meeting with some other Future 50 businesses who have scaled and were maybe at this stage five, or two years ago."
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Mr Steggles has also seen his Norfolk Mardler win a gold medal at the Artisan Cheese Awards this month.
"I'm really pleased that we're seeing so much interest in our product, and I'm really excited about the opportunity," said Mr Steggles, whose business is based in Honingham.
"I've currently got five staff working on the cheese business but I suspect by the end of the year we'll be in double figures."
Mr Steggles' produce also won a super gold medal at the World Cheese Awards in 2014.
"We've been really lucky because we've had a lot of support in grant funding, which has allowed us to buy the new equipment we need to scale," said Mr Steggles.
"We've had Leader funding as well as grants from AgriTech, which means we currently have new cheese-making vats being made as we speak. They've been hugely supportive of us from the beginning which has been fantastic."
Mr Steggles and his team will be launching the cheese into 400 new supermarkets over the course of the summer - though the details of which chain he is supplying cannot yet be revealed.
"We signed that deal a month or so ago and can't wait to see it on the shelves," he said.