Pizza firm Crust and Crumb bakes 88 NI jobs

Fermanagh-based bakery Crust and Crumb to ramp up production of its innovative pizza products.

Food firm Crust and Crumb is to create 88 new jobs and will invest in new equipment to increase production.

Crust and Crumb is a leading manufacturer of chilled, frozen and gluten free dough-based products to supermarkets and foodservice customers in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and the UK.

“In the last number of years, we have experienced exceptional growth, and throughout Covid-19, our sales have remained steady in our key markets of RoI and UK”

Invest NI has offered the company £502,600 of support towards 88 jobs, new equipment and marketing development activities. The roles, which will be recruited over the next three years, include General Operatives with other roles in the areas of Health & Safety and Management.

This will ‘dough’ nicely

“This is a very exciting time for our company,” said Crust and Crumb’s Clive Gilpin. “In the last number of years we have experienced exceptional growth, and throughout Covid-19, our sales have remained steady in our key markets of RoI and UK. This investment will help us strengthen our competitive position, scale our business, improve efficiencies, expand our current pizza portfolio and drive sales in new markets including Europe and Australia. 

“We are also purchasing new equipment to enhance automation and extend our production and packaging areas with a new product development kitchen to develop a range of ‘on trend’ products.

“We initially used Invest NI’s R&D support to develop our gluten free and protein pizza ranges. This support has been key in ensuring that we are constantly at the forefront of new trends and has helped us to secure major deals with leading retailers. Going forward, we remain focused on growing our share of the RoI and European pizza markets and the expansion of our team will help us to do this and create new pizza flavours that will appeal to a wider market.”

Invest NI has worked in partnership with Crust and Crumb since 2012 to support it to grow its team and create jobs, develop new products and increase its exports.

Kevin Holland, Invest NI’s CEO said: “Investing in innovation and growing sales outside of Northern Ireland is not only crucial to the growth of our economy but also business survival. By investing in innovation Crust and Crumb has been able to develop new products, grow sales and now it is investing significantly in equipment and people to increase production and target new markets.

“I am glad we are able to support the business at the different stages of its growth which will deliver both employment opportunities and boost the local economy.” 

Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.

The Crust and Crumb investment was welcomed by Northern Ireland Economy Minister Diane Dodds. “Over the years, Crust and Crumb has demonstrated substantial growth across its business with its innovative approach to new product development. This investment is welcome news for the local Fermanagh & Omagh District Council area and once in place, the 88 new jobs will contribute over £2million in additional annual salaries for the local economy. 

“This is the third announcement in a number of months by companies within Northern Ireland’s Food & Drink sector, which is particularly welcome after the sector was hard hit by COVID-19. Supported by Invest Northern Ireland, these projects will contribute almost £17million of investment and over 130 jobs in regional areas.

“As we continue to support businesses to rebound and rebuild from COVID-19, Invest NI will continue to nurture the right business landscape for job creation and investment throughout Northern Ireland,” Dodds said.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 24 November, 2020