2023 surpassed all expectations for one Telford business, which supplies cheese and dairy products to food manufacturers and the food service sector.
Bridge Cheese, based in Stafford Park, celebrated five years in business in October and managing director Michael Harte couldn’t be more proud of the way the company has grown and developed during that time.
Michael said: “In 2018, we opened the doors with just 15 members of staff and a handful of clients. Fast forward five years and we have 80 full-time employees and this year we’ve hit a record turnover of £30m. It’s been quite a whirlwind!”
Recognition of Bridge Cheese’s phenomenal success story was affirmed in July 2023 when the company won six trophies at the renowned International Cheese Awards – the Oscars of the dairy industry. This included gold awards for two of its grated cheese products and one for its cheese ropes, used for stuffed crust pizzas, which Bridge Cheese makes in-house.
Michael added: “This year was the first year we had entered the International Cheese Awards and we were delighted with how well we did against stiff competition. The quality and consistency of our products is something we are really proud of, so for a panel of judges to validate that was an amazing feeling.”
Bridge Cheese continues to invest in the business to strengthen its offer to customers. 2023 saw the rollout of the company’s new website – the first step in a three-year digital strategy which will also see a new ERP system go live in the new year to digitalise production and operations.
After a second line was added in 2022, the factory premises is also continuing to grow and expand with new R&D equipment and facilities on the agenda for 2024. This will allow Bridge Cheese to ramp up its bespoke cheese and dairy product offer to customers – one of its main USPs.
All growth, however, must be sustainable and this is one of the company’s top priorities for 2024.
Michael added: “In 2023, we started working with Business Net Zero to improve our in-house capabilities and drive sustainability from within the business. Our business administrator Mary Lo was chosen as our sustainability champion and she is driving the development of our net zero road map and looking at where we can implement steps to tackle waste and improve the energy efficiency of our facilities.
“2024 is set to be a year of considered, sustainable growth for Bridge Cheese with the focus on striving to be the most reliable supplier we can be to our clients, the best employer we can be to our staff and the most responsible business we can be for the planet.”