A couple who make chilli condiments by hand at their Wansford home have switched to automation to turn up the heat on production.
Husband and wife team Tim and Annette Williams, who run Kingfisher Chilli, have been filling, labelling and sealing hundreds of jars of chilli paste, jam, mayonnaise and peri-peri oil by hand.
But, after securing £6,100 from Opportunity Peterborough’s LEADER programme, the enterprising couple, who have turned their dining room into a commercial kitchen, have introduced machinery that can slice through their production times.
Currently, the couple, who set up their business last October, turn out 100 jars in five and a half hours by hand.
The purchase of grinding, filling, capping and labelling machines will allow them to dramatically raise that production to 300 jars in three hours.
Mrs Williams, director, said: “Without the grant we wouldn’t be able to expand this quickly.
“We know there’s a big market for our products, but there’s only so much we can keep doing by hand so it’s a big relief to be having automated production.
She added: “The grant has come at just the right time as there are lots of larger exhibitions we’d like to attend alongside showcasing our products at local markets and fayres.”
Chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, Steve Bowyer, said: “I’m delighted Kingfisher Chilli has been awarded this grant and am certain we will see the company continue to succeed thanks to Annette and Tim’s passion and enthusiasm.”
Mr Williams has been creating his own condiments since he was in school with flavours influenced by his father and childhood in South Africa.
A further £800,000 of grant funding is still available from the Rural Peterborough and Rutland LEADER programme which has already supported four projects based in Rural Peterborough.
The programme aims to support local projects that develop the economies of the rural Peterborough and Rutland areas.
For additional information about the LEADER funding programme and details of eligibility and how to apply, visit: www.leaderfunding.co.uk