African food company scales up with six-figure funding from Lloyds Bank
A London-based specialist in African food has secured six-figure funding to expand operations and pivot during the pandemic.
Eko Food Market has secured a funding package from Lloyds Bank in order to adjust its business model to grow from its London base.
Eko Food Market, which sells African cooking ingredients to retailers and consumers, purchased the majority of its products from Nigeria.
When the firm’s supply chain was disrupted during the pandemic, the business secured investment to ramp up production.
The move was made possible by Lloyds Bank providing asset finance, which lets a business invest in big ticket items and spread the cost over the asset’s lifetime.
Eko Food Market has used the facility to buy a new kitchen along with the equipment needed to become a fully-fledged manufacturer, including ovens and smokers, refrigerators and freezers, mixing and packaging machines and, most recently, a new van for deliveries.
Eko Food Market owner Christine Adeosun commented: “The last 12 months have taught me never to miss the opportunity to take a fresh look at how you do things.
“At first, the pandemic brought many challenges but, from finding ways to overcome them, we’re now operating on a larger scale and are in a position to keep expanding, and bringing a taste of Africa to more of the UK.
“The support we continue to receive from the team at Lloyds Bank, from their market insight to their lightning-fast response time, is fantastic.”
Alex Fernando, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, added: “It’s great to see such a passionate business be able to mitigate the adverse impact of the pandemic to continue doing what it does best.
“With our support, it’s increased manufacturing for the benefit of its customers and local community.
“We’ll remain by the side of business customers of all shapes and sizes to help guide them through the ongoing challenges the UK economy faces.”
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