Training helps Sunderland businessman out of a pickle

Andrew Calder, of Calder's Kitchen.
Andrew Calder, of Calder's Kitchen.

A specialist Sunderland food business is celebrating the taste of success after taking advantage of a free training programme designed to improve SMEs’s skill sets.

Calder’s Kitchen, based in the city centre, has seen an estimated 10% increase in business after taking part in a Boost Your Business course delivered through regional skills and enterprise programme Go>Grow.

The course was really intense, but I took so much away from it and learnt a lot.

Andrew Calder

The Boost Your Business course, delivered by several agencies, collectively known as the North East Enterprise Agency, is being rolled out to SMEs across the region as part of a £1m package of business improvement support.

Calder’s Kitchen, owned by entrepreneurs Andrew and Anne-Marie Calder, is renowned for producing a modern version of the classic British condiment piccalilli – the English interpretation of Indian pickles, containing chopped vegetables, mustard and spices.

Using a recipe from Andrew’s grandfather, The Calder’s produced two new flavours – Chillililli, which is medium-spiced and Sillylilli, which is incredibly spicy.

The gourmet couple took advantage of the course to learn how to develop their business further, increase growth and gain new digital marketing skills.

Andrew Calder said: “The course was really intense, but I took so much away from it and learnt a lot. When I got home after completing the course, I put my new-found skills to the test and used four new social media resources.

“The demand for our products has definitely increased. Not only have we acquired social media skills that we can continue to use going forward, but our business has seen an increase of roughly 10% since undertaking the course, which I hope will only continue to grow.”

The business was awarded a Great Taste award in 2016 by the Guild of Fine Food, which recognises excellent food standards, as well as a Small Business Sunday award, backed by multi-millionaire and former Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis.

The Boost Your Business course has helped hundreds of North East SMEs since April, with plans to roll out further training this year.

Further details are available by telephoning (0191) 5166170.