Asian food and drink producers that are keen to grow their brand are being offered assistance by a 'Recipe4Success’ scheme.

The scheme managed by the GC Business Growth Hub programme has supported hundreds of small food and drink operators to develop and raise the profile of their business, since it started in 2015.

Previous programmes have helped fledgling Greater Manchester firms get their products stocked in department stores such as Selfridges, as well as specialist and independent retailers.

One graduate of the 2021 scheme is Rijul Shukla, founder of 100% plant based Indian curry company Spice Story based in Manchester. 

Since completing the programme his products are now stocked on the shelves of 10 different stores across the north west, including the hugely popular Kenyon Hall Farm in Warrington.

Recipe4Success is open to start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses who are in their first three years of trading and based in Greater Manchester.

The next programme starts on March 22. Places are limited and businesses need to register their interest.

The three-month programme consists of a tailored series of nine workshops and networking events designed to help businesses overcome barriers and succeed. It is fully funded - meaning businesses who are accepted onto the scheme do not pay any costs.

At the end of the programme, participants get the chance to pitch their product to a panel of buyers. Previous panels have included the likes of Morrisons and Tesco.

Participants will also learn about packaging, labelling, sustainability, and receive advice on sales and marketing with a session including food photography for social media.

Spice Story founder, Rijul Shikla, said: “One of the best decisions I made last year was joining Recipe4Success. It massively helped me in moving towards the retail side of the business and getting stocked in shops.

“The workshops were super helpful and relevant, and the network you create through the programme is invaluable. If you are a food and drink business it is not to be missed.”

Recipe4Success is managed and delivered by the Hub, which is part of the Growth Company and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Head of Start-up and Growth at the Hub, Hilary Centeleghe, said: “Recipe4Success offers our region’s most innovative and ambitious food and drink businesses the help and support they need to take the next step.

“Our teams have helped producers to win prestigious national awards and get stocked online, locally, in national stores and even restaurants.

“This programme provides expert support and guidance for a food and drink business that wants to scale up and reach new customers.”

Others who have benefitted include specialist sauce companies Amal’s Pantry and Africa Al’s, and vegan sweet treats business Raw Bake Station.

The next Recipe4Success programme will be officially launched on March 2 at Kampus, in Manchester, and will offer interested businesses the opportunity to meet some of the specialists leading the workshops. 

You can find out more about the scheme here.