A family-run Cornish company, which started selling locally made hand-crimped pasties ten years ago in a shop in St Ives, has launched an ambitious franchising operation across the UK.
The Cornish Oggy Oggy Pasty Company, of Penzance, which has achieved Investors in People status, will be Britain’s most westerly franchise business.
Formed ten years ago by Cornishman Brian Stanleick, the company employs 55 people at various westcountry outlets which retail freshly-baked traditional, vegetarian and speciality pasties as the principal dishes to eat in or take away.
As part of Oggy’s UK-wide expansion drive, the first franchised outlet will open at Long Row West, Nottingham, to be followed by Colchester and Southport. The company itself is also opening two new retail units in Newton Abbot and Torquay.
“We see franchising as the primary route to grow our business,” explained Mr Stanleick. “We believe many people are tired of being a number in a corporate jungle and want to own and develop a business in the UK with a real taste of the far west of England and with a successful family-owned company as their franchise partner. The incredible response to our stand at the British Franchise Exhibition in April has made us revise upwards our original target of 30 franchised outlets.
“Our totally committed relationship with award-winning Crantock Bakery near Newquay has helped accelerate our growth.”
From the outset the pasties have been supplied to Oggy Oggy’s specification by Crantock Bakery, whose traditional and innovative recipes and state-of-the art freezing techniques are critical to the product’s overall quality and appearance.
To cope with demand, Crantock chairman and managing director Nick Ringer has already introduced a new production line at the 25,000 sq ft factory. He said: “We are expecting having to add a further line, taking our staff total to around 120 people – Cornish people making authentic Cornish products for distribution across the UK through a Cornish-based franchise.”
The Oggy Oggy company has been helped in its new venture by the Business Link service for Devon and Cornwall whose personal business adviser, Brent Treloar, sourced expertise from Mike Bell, of Exeter-based Crisp Associates, who has more than 20 years experience in franchising the food and service industries.
He was involved with all aspects of the franchise – from devising the package, preparing the manual for the pilot projects, setting up control and support systems for the UK, and producing marketing material and the website (www.oggyoggy.com).
“By brokering in the relevant expertise, Business Link’s help has been critical to the launch of our exciting new venture,” said Mr Stanleick.
“Franchising now accounts for more than £9bn of sales each year in the UK and 95 per cent of franchised businesses remain profitable five years after start-up.
“Comprehensive training in all the Oggy Oggy proven methods will help our franchisees to develop their own profitable businesses. Indeed with the quality of applicant looking to acquire an Oggy franchise, we expect a number to become multiple unit owners – similar to 20 per cent of all UK franchise owners.”