A Nottingham-based luxury sushi producer has launched a nationwide delivery service thanks to support from The Food Innovation Centre at the University of Nottingham.

Uramaki began producing exquisite sushi products for delivery in the Nottingham area during lockdown – giving food lovers the opportunity to enjoy genuine sushi at home.

Now the company has expanded by introducing UK-wide delivery after receiving expert advice from the Food Innovation Centre.

Food innovation technologist Jack Wallman helped Uramaki to research and source the ideal cases to keep the sushi looking great and in tip top condition during transportation and delivery.

Rachel Thacker, who runs Uramaki with chef husband Paul, said: “We needed to secure the sushi so that it arrived at its destination intact and wanted to include special slots for the wasabi, ground ginger and soy bottle. Jack helped to work through the vision and helped to source packaging suppliers.

“The cases we decided on are more compact, so the sushi doesn’t move around during transit, with a liner inside for the accompaniments. This means we can now deliver nationwide, knowing that the sushi has been carefully and optimally packaged.”

The West Bridgford-based business specialises in authentic handmade sushi and was launched during lockdown in 2020 when Rachel and Paul saw a gap in the market for luxury food deliveries. The team also includes award-winning sushi chef Jaturavit Saysena, a friend and work colleague of Paul’s for many years, who has worked in some of the world’s best sushi restaurants.

Uramaki began a local delivery service within 15 miles of Nottingham, before also introducing pick-up points at various farm shops in the area. But this latest move allows the company to deliver across the UK – opening up a significant market for their sushi.

Former hotel manager Rachel, who now works part-time at the Waterside Apartments at Trent Bridge, and husband Paul, a chef at Lakeside, Ravenshead, were put in touch with the Food Innovation Centre by business support enterprise Nottingham Business Venture.

Rachel praised the support provided by the Food Innovation Centre, which is based at the Bioenergy and Brewing Science building at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus, and offers free support to eligible small and medium-sized food and drink manufacturers in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire under the Driving Research and Innovation project – a three-year project that runs until the end of December 2022.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the D2N2 LEP, the project is run by the Food Innovation Centre at the University of Nottingham School of Biosciences, in conjunction with the Chemistry Innovation Laboratory in the School of Chemistry and Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and in association with the Midlands Engine. It is a unique collaboration project that provides free specialist innovation support to small and medium-sized food and drink businesses.

Rachel said: “Support from the Food Innovation Centre has been really helpful for us. We were a new business in lockdown and if you haven’t got the skill base to solve particular challenges or don’t know how to get the information that you need, it’s really helpful to be able to speak to someone like Jack. It’s someone believing in your vision and helping you to reach the next step.”

Uramaki offers around 13 different selections of sushi, including seafood and vegan options, for delivery and also offers a bespoke catering service for occasions such as weddings, dinner parties and corporate events.

Richard Worrall, who runs the Food Innovation Centre, said: “We are very pleased to hear that the Uramaki team has been able to introduce a nationwide delivery service. Lockdown proved to be a catalyst for a number of new food and drink businesses in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and we are delighted to be supporting them on their journeys as they develop.”

For more information about the Food Innovation Centre and to get in touch with the team, visit https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/biosciences/facilities/food-innovation-centre.aspx

For more information about Uramaki, visit https://www.uramaki.co.uk/

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