SIMON Smith started a meaty business in a shoebox.
After moving back to the UK from South Africa in 1993, and starting his own IT business, one of the things he missed most about the country was biltong, a kind of cured spiced meat that originated in South Africa
“I started making my own biltong in a shoebox at work, and then friends started asking me to make some for them.
“I was making it by the crate load so I thought why not start a business,” he said.
That is how the Chichester Biltong company began in January, 2010, and it’s gone from strength to strength.
Receiving orders from as far as Russia, the company’s biltong is really popular with up to 200 orders a day.
“Although we have a great online following and have a lot of South African customers, we want to appeal to a local market too, so we’re in talks with businesses and retailers in Chichester,” he said.
“We want to have more of a Chichester presence.”
The company supplies biltong to the Vestry and Fountain pubs in South Street, Andy’s Fish Bar, Goodwood farm shop, and several more city retailers.
The company was given a £17,500 leader grant in August 2011 by West Sussex County Council.
Simon said: “It gave us a fantastic kick start.”
The business is based in Oving, at the Woodhorn Business Centre, and is rapidly expanding due to an increasing customer base which means they are employing more staff.
Sara Morris, sales and marketing at the firm said: “I started working at the company recently and can’t believe the growth week-on-week.
“This week we’ve broken our record and actually ran out of meat!”
For more information on the firm visit www.biltongcompany.co.uk