Sausage firm gets a hand from TV business guru

Sausage company Heck has had a helping hand from retail guru Alex Polizzi, appearing on her new BBC2 series ‘The Fixer’.

The series follows family businesses and finds solutions for the problems that hamper them. Heck will appear on an episode on Monday 8 September, as Polizzi looks at the critical issue of trading with the big supermarkets. The company is on track to hit £5m turnover in the next 12 months after receiving advice from Polizzi and her team.

Heck said it has had a successful start to life as a business, striking deals with Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons, Asda and Booths. However, it added that like many small producers, it relies heavily on the supermarkets to sell their product; thus Polizzi was brought in to advise how to survive on the supermarket shelves “and realise their goal to become the UK’s No. 1 premium sausages”.

Debbie Keeble said: “Our time with Alex has been really hard work and a real eye-opener. We’ve been in the pig farming and sausage business for over 25 years, but we still all learned an amazing amount from the experience and it has given us a real sense of pride in what we’re doing and the confidence to work with our children to take our business to the next level.”

The episode goes into recipes and seasoning, pitching to supermarkets, marketing and social media, as well as understanding the retailer psyche.

Heck said it was about to embark on a major expansion, as well as a youth mentoring programme, “passing on their learnings of setting up and running a successful family food business and encouraging enterprise in the sector...going out into schools and colleges to talk about their experiences and why holding a university degree isn’t always the key to business success. None of the four Keeble siblings went to university. Instead they have all decided to immerse themselves in the family business and create their own futures.”

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