Support from the Food Industry Centre (FIC) at Cardiff Met allowed a local start up to become a regional success story and create new manufacturing jobs.

When Mike and Karen Woods’ children were diagnosed with severe nut allergies, Mike wanted to use his experience in cake making to start a supplier that could guarantee nut free facilities.

He turned to the FIC to help him develop recipes for his new company, Just Love Food, where food scientist Ray Newbury helped Mike find the right ingredients for his new products.

Just Love also made use of the scientific testing and tasting facilities at the FIC. This allowed a small local company access to the resources of large firms.

“Large companies would have the resource internally to be able to do those trials but as a small business you just can’t afford that kind of skills on site in your team at the beginning so using that resource that was available at the food centre was perfect for us” said Mike.

The test results helped convinced major retailers to stock Just Love products and the company now employs 48 people in its factories.

This case shows the vital support universities can offer SMEs and the beneficial impact this can have on employment in the local economy when they are approachable and receptive to business requirements.

“This particular case is the perfect example of ways the public sector through universities and the private sector can work together to bring that idea to the market” David Lloyd, Director of the FIC.

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