By Heck! Family firm aims to become premium sausage brand

Andrew and Debbie Keeble
Andrew and Debbie Keeble
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A FARMING family who turned their hands to sausage making have seen sales boom since being featured in a BBC business makeover show.

HECK has now been in operation for two years, and the family behind it hope its progress can be maintained as it aims to become the UK’s premium sausage brand by the end of next year.

Its founders, Andrew and Debbie Keeble, created the HECK brand in 2012 with the intention of producing high quality sausages with food values to match consumers’ growing demands for home produced food, and a vision of creating a sustainable family business.

They run the business from Bedale and all four of the Keeble’s children, Jamie, Guy, Roddy and Ellie, help out.

Jamie heads up the sales team, Ellie adds support at store level and in data management, and Roddy heads up production and distribution, The team has grown from eight to more than 30 staff in two years and everyone in the company, apart from Andrew and Debbie, are under 25. Most are friends of the family.

The company never uses agency staff, and for many it is their first job. Now making more than two million sausages a month they supply a number of major supermarkets.

Their appearance on The Fixer TV programme last year boosted business with sales doubling overnight. The company has now moved into new lines, with chicken sausages, plus burgers and meatballs which will launch next month.

It recently moved to new premises, and quirky products such as a square shaped sausage for the barbecue and a heart shaped sausage for Valentine’s Day have helped sales grow 150 per cent across the range.

The company achieved sales of £3m within the first year of trading, and is well on target to deliver £7m in 2015.

Andrew and Debbie started again from scratch after selling a sausage company in 2005. They set up HECK with the aim of creating a sustainable business that the family could run independently and which would provide a secure future.