Funding totalling more than #55,000 has enabled a West Midlands frozen burger manufacturer to double its sales in the last two years.
Stirchley Burger Company, based in Cradley, is forecast to reach an annual turnover of #1.5 million this year – just three years after it first started trading.
The company, which manufactures and distributes frozen burgers to the foodservice industry, received #35,000 through the UK British Steel project help fund after being given advice from Business Link Black Country on how to apply for the loan.
A further #20,000 of European Regional Development Fund money was also loaned to Stirchley Burger Company which enabled it to purchase a blast freezer.
This has dramatically increased the company's manufacturing capabilities from 20 tons – the equivalent of 175,000 quarter pounders – per week to 40 tons.
The company is now producing 25 tons of burgers a week, in 98 different variations including chicken, vegetarian, lamb and halal burgers and is aiming to reach full capacity next year.
The burgers are sold to the wholesale trade across the UK, with the burgers eventually being sold in fish and chip shops and mobile caterers.
Carl Bishop and Mark Austin, from Hall Green in Birmingham and Walsall respectively, had previously worked together in the frozen burger manufacturing industry and decided to set up their own business together three years ago.
Mr Austin said: "We got fed up of doing it for someone else, so we decided to set up on our own.
"This is just one of our investments, and we are looking to expand production next year. The product sells itself. What we do is put quality and service before price.
"We wanted to create a quality burger and have achieved this."
The pair contacted BLBC after a year of trading because they needed help and advice on how to grow their business and what funding was available to them.
Mr Austin said: "We could not have imagined that our annual turnover would be at #1.5 million after just three years of trading – this has been made possible through the advice we have received from Business Link Black Country.
"In addition to the funding, Business Link has provided an on-going support relationship and has helped us with the training and hygiene side of the business and enabled us to take on a new employee who is part-funded through the West Midlands Manufacturing Project."
The company now employs nine members of staff with up to three more jobs being created as a result of its expansion.
Shuba Gupta, BLBC adviser, said: "It is fantastic to see such a dramatic expansion of a West Midlands manufacturing company in such a short space of time.
"This is yet another example of a major success story for a manufacturing company in the sub-regions which has become a multi-million pound business.
"Our advice and support has enabled the company to grow and we are pleased to be able to continue to support Stirchley Burger Company."