Finance Yorkshire’s 100th investment is just exquisite!

Caption: Ian Atkinson investment manager at Finance Yorkshire, with Alex McWhirter chief executive of Finance Yorkshire, Viv Parry, managing director of Exquisite Cakes, and Keith Stearman of SPS.

A national food organisation has become the 100th company to receive a Finance Yorkshire investment since the Fund completed its first deal in August 2010.

Exquisite Handmade Cakes Ltd, based at Cardigan Works in Leeds, has received a £50,000 business loan from Finance Yorkshire to help raise awareness of its products and services.

The company has enjoyed year-on-year growth since being established in April 2004 and has a projected turnover of more than £1.7million for this year. Customers include Jet2, Grand Central Railway Company and First Hull Trains.

Viv Parry, managing director of Exquisite Handmade Cakes, said: “We have been very good at developing high-quality products and establishing routes to market. However, we have been very poor at marketing the company and the investment from Finance Yorkshire will enable us to raise the profile of the business.

“We recently had a meeting with a perspective client which owns 90 coffee shops around the country and he asked why he hadn’t heard of us before. We want to turn that scenario around and have customers contact us because they have heard what we can offer.”

Exquisite Cakes, which employs 30 people from five units on Lennox Road, is developing a new company website and attending exhibitions, such as Lunch 2011 - a trade show for the UK’s food and drink industry at Old Billingsgate in London.

The company was introduced to Finance Yorkshire by Keith Stearman from SPS, a York-based strategy, coaching and mentoring consultancy.

Viv added: “Keith came on board to help with a strategy review of the company and has stayed with us in a mentoring capacity. He identified that we needed to form a relationship with Finance Yorkshire to help support our plans for expansion. We definitely see this as being a toe in the water where further deals with the Fund can be arranged to assist our growth over the long-term.”

Ian Atkinson is the investment manager at Finance Yorkshire who worked on the deal. He said: “Exquisite Cakes has achieved great success in a relatively short period of time. It has targeted a growing market and is developing a foothold on a national scale, while creating employment in the Yorkshire area. We are looking forward to developing a long-standing relationship with the company and help it expand and develop new products.”

Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire, said: “We are very pleased to have invested in 100 companies. The milestone is a great achievement, but we want to build by investing in more companies and making the most of the opportunities in Yorkshire. This is only the start of the potential Finance Yorkshire has in developing a legacy of access to finance for all types of businesses across the region.”

Helping a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development, Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit or ring 0845 649 0000.

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire