A YORK food manufacturer is looking to increase revenue to £1.8 million and grow its headcount to 17 as it starts a new business improvement programme.

York Speciality Foods, based in Wheldrake, is collaborating with Nicholson Consultancy to develop a robust and efficient manufacturing process that will enable the company to develop its production facility to meet future growth.

The programme will assist the company with the recruitment and development of a new production manager and put in place an effective business plan that will provide a clear vision for the future.

York Speciality Foods and sister company Village Green Preserves manufactures and supplies a wide range of jams, chutneys, sauces and preserves to a variety of outlets including supermarket giants Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys, small independent retailers and farm shops, and for the Women’s Institute (WI).

The company, which is branded as Mercers of Yorkshire, currently has an annual turnover of £1.5 million and employs 14 staff, and with the help of Nicholson is working towards reaching £1.8 million and 17 staff.

Managing director Paul Mercer, who runs the business with his wife Lizzie said: “The programme being delivered by Nicholson Consultancy will give us the ability to increase capacity, realise savings and also provide us with a more knowledgeable workforce.

“As a result, soon we will be able to commission new product lines and cope with increased levels of demand.”

Mr and Mrs Mercer took over the jam making business in 2007

Andrew Nicholson, managing director of Nicholson Consultancy, said: “Paul and Lizzie have created a great brand and a superb range of products and they have a great desire and ambition to succeed.

“The programme we are delivering will help take them to the next level by ensuring that the right people and processes are in place.

“It will not only increase capacity but the Lean Awareness Training given to employees will allow continuous improvements to be made at all levels.”

Established in 2000, Nicholson Consultancy is an independent management consultancy and training organisation.

As well as small family businesses like York Speciality Foods, the company has worked with blue-chip multinationals like BP Chemicals, Husqvarna and TK Tallent (Gestamp).