Buttermilk’s Sweet Success: £850,000 Investment Fuels Major Expansion for Cornish Chocolate Pioneer

Buttermilk's Sweet Success £850,000 Investment Fuels Major Expansion for Cornish Chocolate Pioneer

A cherished chocolate manufacturer from Cornwall, Buttermilk, is set for significant growth following an investment boost exceeding £850,000. Launching as a quaint fudge shop in Padstow back in 1964, Buttermilk has since evolved dramatically. Six decades on, the company now crafts an award-winning array of dairy-free chocolate bars, which have found their way onto the shelves of major UK retailers and wholesalers, as well as into the hearts of online shoppers.

Recently, Buttermilk’s ‘plant-powered’ sweets have seen an impressive sales surge of 225%, including a burgeoning export market. This success has catalyzed a substantial expansion, made possible by £852,573 in funding from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth programme. This project, totaling £930,000, will merge and enlarge two production facilities at the company’s Bodmin site. The expansion aims to double Buttermilk’s output and create 14 new jobs.

As part of this growth, Buttermilk plans to innovate further, eyeing the creation of low-calorie treats and enhancing its international presence, with interest already budding from markets in mainland Europe, the US, Ireland, and Australia.

Furthermore, the company is set to foster a multi-talented production crew, providing comprehensive training in food safety, quality, and technology, to ensure robust year-round employment.

Sustainable Growth: Buttermilk’s Eco-friendly Expansion

Buttermilk’s new 420 square meter factory extension is not just about size; it’s about sustainability. The inclusion of solar panels and a heat recovery system aims to reuse heat from refrigeration processes for hot water and cleaning, significantly diminishing the factory’s carbon footprint. This move aligns seamlessly with the eco-centric principles of the Good Growth programme.

David and Tracy Goad, the dynamic husband-and-wife duo who took over Buttermilk in 2010, have been instrumental in transforming the seasonal fudge shop into a sustainable, year-round operation. Their venture saw listings in renowned supermarkets like Waitrose, Sainsbury, and Tesco. The duo’s innovation streak continued with the launch of a dairy-free Easter egg in 2018, followed by the successful introduction of a dairy-free chocolate snack bar line in 2021.

Tracy, with her background in international business and experience at Bloomberg, expressed immense gratitude for the grant funding that’s fueling the kitchen’s expansion. She highlighted the project’s significance in meeting the soaring demand for Buttermilk’s innovative chocolate bars and creating stable, quality employment in Cornwall. Tracy also emphasized the company’s commitment to the Living Wage and skill development for its team, particularly in the challenging economic climate of recent years.

David, an innovation lead with a mechanical engineering background, noted the importance of a dedicated ‘free-from’ production line, ensuring zero cross-contamination and catering to diverse dietary needs and lifestyles. The expansion, he pointed out, is pivotal for meeting increasing demand, exploring new markets, and fostering product innovation.

A Sweet Contribution to Cornwall’s Economy and Environment

Buttermilk’s expansion isn’t just good news for chocolate lovers; it’s a boon for Cornwall’s economy and environment. The project’s emphasis on circular energy usage and reduction of inter-site transfers is poised to decrease energy consumption and local traffic, contributing positively to Cornwall’s ecological footprint.

The expansion, supported by the Good Growth programme’s substantial £137 million investment, managed by Cornwall Council and financed by the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, is a testament to the UK Government’s commitment to enhancing prosperity across communities, businesses, and individuals. The fund is a key component of the government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda, allocating £2.6 billion for local investments by March 2025.

Buttermilk’s expansion marks not just a milestone in the company’s history but also a significant step forward for Cornwall’s economic and environmental landscape, showcasing a harmonious blend of growth, innovation, and sustainability.

Source: https://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/24095357.cornish-chocolate-maker-buttermilk-850-000-expansion/