Ulster Bank has provided over €500,000 in funding to Tipperary based food company, J&L Grubb Limited, producers of the world renowned ‘Cashel Blue Cheese’ product. The funding allowed the company to construct and furnish a new, state-of-the-art factory premises at Beechmount, Fethard. The deal has enabled the company upgrade their production facility from an old farmhouse style premises to a new 25,000 sq ft factory premises. Construction of the new facility was completed in December 2010.
J&L Grubb, producers of ‘Cashel Blue Cheese’, is a family owned business currently employing up to 30 people between the farm and the farmhouse cheese making facility. At present, 45% of their product is sold on the Irish market through various retailers including, Supervalu, Tesco, Aldi and Superquinn along with premium speciality outlets including Sheridans Cheesemongers, Avoca and Fallon & Byrne, amongst others. 30% of their product is sold across the UK and the rest of Europe, a further 20% is sold across the US and 5% is sold throughout the rest of the world.
As a result of the company’s funding, the construction of a new, larger premises and the introduction of advanced technology and improved machinery, J&L Grubb’s production capability has increased by 100%.
The company has also identified a number of opportunities which will allow J&L Grubb to expand their offering and grow their business. These include the introduction of ‘hard cheese’ products, blue cheese spread and whey products. The company’s new facilities also allow for the hosting of small conferences, Agri-tourism and education through the use of their boardroom and lecturing area.
Declan Fitzgerald, Managing Director Business Banking RI, Ulster Bank said: “The Agri-sector and food sectors have faced extreme challenges in recent years. J&L Grubb is a business which has managed to retain its customers whilst continuing to provide top-class products. J&L Grubb is an exceptional company, continuously moving in the right direction. They are determined to increase their offering and show clear signs of expansion opportunities. The company’s new facility allows for an increase in production but also supports local commerce and creates employment.”
“Over the past 12 months, Ulster Bank has introduced a number of initiatives focused on supporting SMEs throughout Ireland. We are committed to developing meaningful and well structured products to meet the demands of businesses and we are delighted to provide funding to J&L Grubb which, in turn, will assist these important sectors.” Mr Fitzgerald added.
Commenting on the funding, Louis Grubb, Director of J&L Grubb said: “The funding provided by Ulster Bank helped us at J&L Grubb undertake the major task of building a new facility on a green field site and fitting it out with state of the art technology and equipment. New markets can now be approached with confidence and further associated development can be considered”.