A grant from the Food and Drink iNet has helped specialist coffee supplier Cherizena to gain new customers.

The iNet provided a match-funded grant to the Leicestershire-based business to help the company create a new e-commerce website linked to a full-colour label printer.

Amongst other things, this allowed the company to offer bespoke printed labels to its trade customers wanting their own-label coffees to sell in shops.

Within weeks of setting up the system, Cherizena bagged its first new trade customer – a new deli opening in Blackburn which wanted to offer its own-label coffee.

“The grant from the Food and Drink iNet has been great news for Cherizena and is starting to pay dividends for the company already,” said owner Kate Jones. “Not only have we been able to create a much more comprehensive e-shop to sell to our mail order consumer customers via our new website www.cherizena.co.uk, we’ve also been able to offer tailor-made colour printed labels to our trade customers, as well as improve the quality and variety of our own labels.

“I’d like to thank the iNet for its support, as well as advisor Stevie Jackson who’s been very helpful with a number of suggestions of ways in which we can develop Cherizena further and potentially tap into new markets.”

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Food and Drink iNet co-ordinates innovation support for businesses, universities and individuals working in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands.

It has developed an effective network to encourage the collaboration of academic expertise and knowledge, and local food and drink business innovation needs.

The iNet awarded Cherizena with a grant of just over £3,000, which the company match-funded.

Advisor Stevie Jackson said: “I’m very pleased to hear that Cherizena is already reaping the benefits of the Food and Drink iNet support and hope that the company continues to go from strength to strength.”

Cherizena, which is based at Wartnaby near Melton Mowbray, has been run by Kate Jones and husband Tom since 2005.

The company supplies speciality, premium and flavoured coffee direct to the public via its website and also by attending shows and events around the country. It also sells to trade customers including shops, bars, restaurants and cafés.

The company offers up to 30 single origin coffees and blends, and 20 different flavoured varieties. It is a leading UK specialist producer of coffee, and sources premium, rare and speciality coffees, as well as creating its own range of flavoured coffees.

The new e-commerce website is more sophisticated than Cherizena’s previous website, and the company hopes it will help to expand markets and develop the business.

The Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

It is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with advisors covering the East Midlands region.

For more information about the iNet visit www.foodanddrink-inet.org.uk

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR www.perfect10pr.co.uk