Heck heads Down Under as it aims for overseas growth

A fast-growing Yorkshire food firm has secured an export deal to Australia for its vegan sausages.

Andrew and Debbie Keeble Picture: Gerard Binks

Australia is the third fastest growing vegetarian market in the world and bosses at Heck hope it will be the first stage of a global export campaign.

Bedale-based Heck has also opened its headquarters to other local food entrepreneurs. Heck was launched five years ago by the Keeble family. Parents Andrew and Debbie and their children Jamie, Roddy and Ellie have created a business which has enjoyed steady growth and critical acclaim.

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Jamie Keeble said: “Brexit is creating huge uncertainty and we don’t believe there will be any investment from central Government to help start-ups.

He added: “We want to create a ‘Foogle; a Silicon Valley for food in the Vale of York, where the best of innovation can come together.”

Mr Keeble said Heck had all the elements needed to launch a product, including production facilities, alongside logistics, in-house design and marketing teams.

It also has contacts with retailers.

He added: “We have two new vegan companies working with us at the moment and it’s been great sharing some of our experiences.”

In 2017, Heck created 75 jobs when it opened a £3.5m factory, which makes more than 700 sausages per minute.

The business made the investment with support from a £2.35m finance package from long standing partner, Lloyds Bank.

Anyone wanting to pitch their ideas to Heck is invited to send an email to [email protected]