Online sales shot up by 600% in just one week after a Nottinghamshire pie maker received a grant from the Food and Drink iNet to revamp its website.

Lime Tree Pantry experienced a massive leap in the number of customers buying its pies during the first week following the website redesign.

Sales went up from a typical £333 per week to more than £2,331 in the first seven days.

“We are absolutely delighted with our new website made possible with a grant from the Food and Drink iNet,” said managing director of Ollerton-based Lime Tree Pantry Damien Toms.

The revamp was carried out by Voice Brand Design, of Leicester, who was called in to help ensure that Lime Tree Pantry’s online store achieved its sales targets.

Damien said: “Voice Brand Design have opened our eyes to what using a professional marketing agency can do for sales. It has delivered on all our objectives and I am confident that the site will continue to smash targets and help us to reach new customers.”

David Wallace, Innovation Director at East Midlands Development Agency (emda), which funds the iNet, said: “I am delighted that Lime Tree Pantry’s profits have soared thanks to the Innovation Support Grant from our Food and Drink iNet. Their success demonstrates that businesses in the food and drink sector within the East Midlands are at the forefront of the development and implementation of new and exciting ideas. This is why emda believes that it is so important to support and promote innovation in the region through the iNet. I hope that other businesses within the sector will be inspired by their achievement.”

Lime Tree Pantry received a £5,967 Innovation Support Grant from the Food and Drink iNet, which the firm match-funded, to improve its customer relationship management.

The company, which was founded in 1991 and produces more than 10,000 fruit and savoury pies each week, opted to give its website a major overhaul to encourage traffic visiting the site to place more orders.

Results from launch week have been a staggering success, added Damien.

Voice Brand Design creative director Tim Harrison said: “We are proud to have helped Lime Tree Pantry with transforming their existing website into a mouth-watering online experience. It showcases the craftsmanship of the products housed in an elegant design, which reflects their brand values.

“We have taken what was a failing sales channel and transformed it into a modern, user friendly and successful website Lime Tree is now proud to promote and customers expect to experience. The results, in increased sales, are speaking for themselves.”

Around £250,000 in Innovation Support Grants has been allocated to around 50 food and drink firms across the East Midlands by the Food and Drink iNet since the iNet was launched in 2008. The iNet hopes to have more funding allocated as part of a new contract next year, said Peter Maycock, Food and Drink iNet project director.

“Innovation Support Grants are designed to make a real difference to a company’s prospects, and I am delighted to hear about the success of Lime Tree Pantry’s innovation,” said Peter Maycock.

The Food and Drink iNet is aiming to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It’s also hoping to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.

Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by the Food & Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

Firms wanting more information should contact the Food and Drink iNet on 0845 521 2066 or visit

For information about support for innovation that is available in the East Midlands, visit