Dorset-based Outdoorfood Ltd has received £150k in Recovery Loan Scheme funding via SWIG Finance to relocate to a larger premises following a strong period of growth.

Outdoorfood manufacture their own range of Firepot dehydrated meals to help adventurers eat well in the wild. The business is led by entrepreneur John Fisher, who is a keen adventurer himself.

The business idea started when John was preparing to trek 125 miles through Greenland but was unable to find high quality dry food, which persuaded him to create his own.

As John returned to the airport after his trek, he encountered another adventurer setting out, to whom he donated his unused dehydrated meals. John was surprised when the adventurer contacted him on his return to compliment his recipes, and soon John’s hobby developed into a business.

Firepot differs from its competitors because John’s recipes are made from real food, not powders. The aim is to provide a home cooked meal with the same nutrients, but a 70% reduction in weight when compared to wet food.

Since starting, Outdoorfood expanded rapidly, and as the order book grew it became clear that larger production premises were needed to cope with rising demand. As the business was still relatively young, their bank couldn’t help with the cost, so John contacted his local CDFI, SWIG Finance.

SWIG business manager, Jordan Berg, worked with the business to secure the funding they needed with a loan backed by the Recovery Loan Scheme.

Outdoorfood has now relocated to its new premises at Broad Oak and is looking to expand its team as the business grows, with up to 7 new roles being created over the next three years, bringing the headcount up to 17. With the USA one of its biggest markets, the business also aims to open a Stateside operation by 2023.

Of the funding, business owner John Fisher said “Our business has grown so quickly, but from a mainstream lender perspective, we are not credible on paper. Without this funding we would have had to forgo growth while we worked with the limited resources we had in place. I have had a relationship with SWIG Finance since starting up, and although historically we raise funding through investors, we knew that the faster we got this funding in place the quicker we could push our plans forwards. I am grateful for Jordan’s support throughout the application process, he was patient, enthusiastic and a really big help in encouraging others to understand the situation we were in.”

Business manager Jordan Berg said “From the outset I was very impressed with John; it’s clear that he and his team are very capable people who are passionate about what they do. The business is impressive, having started as a hobby and developed into an authentic brand. Their accolades speak volumes, with their meals being Duke of Edinburgh recommended. It is really great to see a small Dorset-based business working with some of the biggest names in their industry”.

About SWIG Finance

SWIG Finance, the South West’s leading CDFI, was established more than 30 years ago to support businesses who are unable to secure funding from mainstream lenders. By empowering underserved businesses in the region to overcome their financial barriers, SWIG Finance is working to create a balanced financial eco-system.

We are passionate about bringing social and economic benefits to people and places. We do this by providing support and finance to Start Ups and growing SMEs that can create and secure employment opportunities.

As the South West’s leading delivery partner for Start Up Loans UK, we can provide Start Up Loans from £500 – £25,000. For more information visit https://www.swigfinance.co.uk/start-up-loans/

We also have business loans from £25,001 to £250,000 available to South West SMEs who cannot access sufficient funding from their bank https://www.swigfinance.co.uk/business-loans/

If you would like to have an informal discussion about your funding requirements, get in touch with our friendly and professional team to find out how we can help: info@swigfinance.co.uk / 01872 227 930.

Legal Notice: The Recovery Loan Scheme is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA. Visit https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/finance-hub/recovery-loan-scheme/