New business in the dough

An innovative doughnut manufacturer has opened in Blackburn thanks to support and finance from Regenerate Pennine Lancashire.

Simply Doughnuts has already landed a deal with the 99p Store and Poundland to be stocked in 800 shops around the UK. The doughnuts will also be sold in independent garage forecourts around the North West and have also attracted the attention of other famous retailers.

The doughnuts are unique in that they are yeast raised and stay fresh for several days, a major selling point for retailers who are often required to freeze and defrost doughnuts for sale. The doughnuts have a matchless 17 day shelf life.

Simply Doughnuts received help from the ERDF supported Lancashire Innovation Network (LIN), which is delivered by Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, to create an automated online ordering system. Regenerate also helped source funding for required machinery from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Assistance To Industry programme, which can provide up to £40,000 to businesses needing to acquire machinery or make property improvements.

Simply Doughnuts currently employs six members of staff and predicts it will double in size in the next 12 months. Managing director Shiraz Master said: “The project initially took a while to set up as we didn’t want to rush into things without in-depth planning. We received a great deal of support from Regenerate’s advisors and were able to move quickly in order to begin production. Once we had completed market research and finalised a recipe we received an excellent response from clients and gained lots of interest rapidly.

“In addition to the funding support they provided, Regenerate also helped us consider different areas and approaches to our business in order to strengthen our new firm.”

Hugh Roberts of Regenerate said: “We help Lancashire businesses access technology to grow and compete, so are pleased that Simply Doughnuts have already secured distribution around theUKfrom their base in Blackburn.”

Councillor Dave Harling, Executive Member for Regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said: “The Assistance to Industry programme is there to make sound investments in local companies who have the potential to grow and create jobs. I’m delighted we’ve been able to assist them in this way and that new jobs will be created as a result.”