The proof is in the dough

The Northern Dough Company started out making pizzas at their kitchen table three years ago. Now their “make your own pizza” products can be found on the shelves of Waitrose.

The Lancashire-based company is the brainchild of husband and wife team Chris and Amy Cheadle. The idea for the business came after they hosted “make your own” pizza dinner parties for friends.

Family knowledge combined with Growth Accelerator advice

They kneaded a secret family dough recipe, born from three generations of baking experience, with help from Growth Accelerator coach, Paul James Gorman, a food industry entrepreneur.

The company produces retail pizza dough products so people can make a restaurant quality meal at home, saving them time and money.  All Northern Dough Company products are made with carefully sourced premium, all-natural ingredients.

“We started the business as an alternative for dining out,” says Chris. “Our friends were invited into the kitchen to create their own favourite recipes. They enjoyed it so much they often went home with a bagful of dough.

“It was only when we looked for an alternative at the supermarket that we saw a gap in the market for a convenient and authentic tasting product and the business was born.”

In 2011, the couple invested some savings in brand design and packaging, and took their product to a local food festival. They had enough to sell one box every two minutes – and sold out in 90 minutes.

By the time Growth Accelerator coach Paul James Gorman came to Cheadles’ kitchen table, the business was in a very good place. Northern Dough was in being stocked in Booths, Ocado and Waitrose. Gorman and the Growth Accelerator process helped them to bring focus to their priorities and strategy. “He brought structure to our strategic thinking and helped us to concentrate on the things that would make the biggest difference,” says Chris.

“We are now outsourcing certain parts of the business to free our time up to concentrate on what we’re good at.”

He helped them realise the point where they were ready for automation; before, they had been packing by hand and there never seemed enough hours in the days.  Their goal is now to see their products in other leading supermarkets.

The Cheadle’s experience has made them firm supporters of the Business is GREAT campaign. “We want to highlight our story to other small and medium sized businesses, and demonstrate what can be achieved with the support that is now available from government,” says Chris.

Thousands of successful businesses such as The Northern Dough Company use Government advice and resources to enable their growth. 

The Business Growth Service is now closed to new customers. Contractual commitments to existing customers will be honoured, as long as all support and related activity is completed by 31 March 2016. If you’re looking to find what business support is available in your area, your local Growth Hub may be able to help.