On the factory floor at Masteroast in Newark Road, Fengate. EMN-210630-161418009

Take a look around Peterborough coffee company Masteroast as it nears its 40th anniversary

A coffee roaster and importer in Peterborough says remaining family-owned has allowed it to champion an agile and enterprising spirit that has kept it going for 40 years.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 6:55 am

As Masteroast, based at Plantation House, in Newark Road, Fengate, gears up to celebrate its anniversary in October, bosses say they are proud that the company, which produces about one in seven cups of roast and ground coffee consumed outside the home in the UK, has reached the milestone while safeguarding its independent status.

Remaining a small, family business has allowed it to give free rein to an innovative spirit that has seen it stay ahead of the sustainability agenda, be at the heart of the Freetrade movement and allowed it to take a huge step up from being a local company to becoming a player in the international market.

And last year, the company began the £1.5 million construction of a 2,500 pallet capacity logistics building to focus on the delivery of its online orders as the Covid-19 pandemic changed the nature of its marketplace.

Andy Fawkes, managing director of Masteroast, which has about 130 staff, said “Reaching the 40-year mark in business is a huge achievement in any industry, and at Masteroast we are extremely proud to have achieved this whilst retaining our independent, family-owned status.”

Founded in the 1980s, Masteroast, which now produces more than 4,000 tonnes of coffee a year for major brands and coffee distributors, found itself in a relatively undeveloped market dominated by a small group of traditional and European blends.

Mr Fawkes said: “Our success stems undoubtedly from our ability to take the concept of better, fresher coffee, to a mainstream audience - with our independent status enabling us to be fleet of foot and opportunistic in our approach to the market.

“We are not the only ones riding the wave of interest in good coffee these days, but count ourselves as one of the few that made the initial splash.

“We also pioneered energy and emission friendly roasting technologies back in the late 1980s well before sustainability became the global issue it is today, and still lead the industry in this area.

He added: “From helping the food service market understand it could have a unique high quality, speciality coffee, roasted fresh to order, to being able to break through barriers in terms of introducing Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance products into the UK market, Masteroast has always been ahead of its game and continues to innovate.”

Crucial to Masteroast’s expansion was its move to Peterborough

Mr Fawkes said: “It was a huge step in our transformation from a local family-run business to a professional entity operating on a national level, and lately, international level.

“Peterborough has been a great home for us, both in terms of access to expert staff and as a strategic location for distribution.

“Coffee consumption has remained fairly robust throughout the pandemic, and despite the challenges posed by Brexit in terms of shipping, we’re optimistic about what the future holds.

“Even after 40 years, we continue to enjoy growth and a solid market share.

“We’ve achieved huge success in supplying bespoke coffee brands to the UK - and now to 15 further countries worldwide.

He added: “We’re looking forward to what the next 40 years may bring.”

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