Around Noon, a UK-based food-to-go manufacturer, is investing half a million pounds in a new bakery next to its headquarters in Newry, Northern Ireland.

The investment will involve the acquisition of a 10,000 square-foot unit adjoining the company’s existing bakery on the Greenbank Industrial Estate, acquired through the purchase of Dublin-based Sweet Things Bakery in 2016.

Around Noon Print is the name of the new bakery, adding to two others in Newry, Around Noon, its headquarters, and Around Noon Bakery. The company also operates a production plant in Slough, outside London, known as Around Noon London.

Around Noon said the cash will also fund the purchase of new machinery and to expand capacity. Production at the new site is expected to start this October, a spokesperson for the business confirmed, adding that the company is keen to grow its business in the coffee-shop sector with the investment in hand.

Founded in 1989, Around Noon produces sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruit pots and cold-pressed juices destined for customers in retail, convenience stores, forecourts and cafes in Northern Ireland and across the border in the Republic or Ireland, as well as the UK travel sector.

Its bakery portfolio features cakes, muffins, pastries, slices, cupcakes, brownies and scones under the Sweet Things brand, production of which will be expanded to meet increasing consumer demand. The company also supplies vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free bakery products.

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CEO Gareth Chambers said in a statement: “Around Noon Bakery continues to go from strength to strength, experiencing growing demand from new and existing customers. The investment we are making will allow the bakery to significantly increase capacity and enable it to produce a wider range of products.”

Privately-owned Around Noon’s existing bakery in Newry employs 16 people, and the spokesperson said it is envisaged the new investment will “support future job creation”. It has about 300 workers across the business.

The company was reserved in disclosing its latest revenue numbers other than to say the business had registered a compound annual growth rate of 12% “over a two-year period”.

In its most recent account filing at Companies House in London, Around Noon generated a turnover in the year ended 31 December 2019 of GBP17.9m (US$24.6m), an increase of 5.5% over the prior 12 months.

Profit before tax rose 1.9% to GBP691,939, while after-tax profit climbed 7.6% to GBP647,910.

As well as the acquisition of Sweet Things, Around Noon has also completed other deals in recent years. It acquired convenience foods supplier Simply Fit Food in 2020 based in Drogheda, County Louth, and Slough-based sandwiches and snacks maker Chef in a Box in 2017.