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Shropshire
Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Shropshire coffee roaster triples output following capital investment

Shrewsbury-based speciality coffee roaster, Iron & Fire has made a six-figure investment in an additional bespoke roaster to meet demand across both its trade and consumer customer bases.

Joanna De Rycke, Director at Iron & Fire
Joanna De Rycke, Director at Iron & Fire

The investment will allow Iron & Fire to take a more flexible approach to its customers’ roasting needs, whilst tripling its overall output.

Imported from Europe, the roaster has been built and modified to Iron & Fire’s exact requirements, as was the case with its existing roasters. Since launching in 2014, Iron & Fire’s trade business has grown steadily and now boasts a customer footprint spanning the length and breadth of the UK. Its direct-to-consumer business, however, has more than tripled in recent years making further capital investment necessary.

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Joanna De Rycke, Director at Iron & Fire, explains:

“An additional roaster has been in our growth forecast since day one, but a year ago it became clear that it was needed if we were to not only meet month-on-month consumer growth, but also better serve our wholesale customers who sometimes demand customised roasts.

“The company was founded on ensuring every customer receives something special in their cup and we’ve stuck by that commitment from day one. Having this additional roaster ensures that each and every order is freshly roasted immediately before dispatch and delivers something special every time.”

The new roaster has a larger capacity compared to Iron & Fire’s existing equipment and has undergone additional modifications to allow for greater automation whilst maintaining utmost precision in terms of the roast profiles. Its purchase was supported by Business Growth Programme 2 grant funding via Birmingham City Council which contributed 50% of the pre-modification costs. Joanna continues:

“An investment of this size is not undertaken lightly so the support we’ve received with the grant funding made a huge difference. Investing in state-of-the-art equipment is important both for future-proofing our business and guaranteeing the highest quality roasts for which we’ve become known.

“Despite current economic challenges, we’re continuing to enjoy consistent and ongoing growth which is likely to make further investment of this kind necessary, especially if we want continue meeting our own exacting quality standards. Iron & Fire is synonymous with quality coffee and precise roast profiling. That’s not something we can afford to stop investing in.”
Iron & Fire has recruited an additional roasting assistant to support the increased output created by the second roaster and the team has its sights on further expansion this year. Joanna concludes:

“Increasing output is only possible with a strong team in place. We expanded our team significantly throughout 2022 and anticipate further recruitment throughout this year as well.”

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