Chris AndrewsBlacks Cheese
Blacks Cheese are a specialty cheese company based in the heart of Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Chris Andrews runs the business with his team of cheese lovers, makers and eaters, who have been running the company with an unwavering passion and energy since 2015.
Stocking a vast array of specialty cheeses, from Owd' Smokey Redwood to Caramelised Onion and Rioja Mature Cheddar, Blacks Cheese not only trades from their Shrewsbury base, but also appears at a variety of food shows up and down the UK, including BBC Good Food and the Essex Fine Food Show. They also host tasting events, stock a selection of themed cheese gift boxes, and run a membership service where customers can have their chosen cheese delivered to their door each month.
Chris has grown his business rapidly in the past few years, from an independent wholesaler to sourcing their own distributer to share their products with over 120 individual stockists, farm shops, and specialist food retailers. Investing in the business has been hugely successful for the Blacks Cheese brand, but has also, at times, taken its toll on their cashflow.
"The growth of our business has put pressure on our cashflow," says Chris, "our business has doubled in just two years, and this growth has had an impact on the way we're now chewing through stock."
As a Worldpay customer, Chris took advantage of the exclusive service offered by Worldpay Business Finance to fund growing his business. This is a partnership that, since 2015, has been working to deliver tailored funding to small businesses through the Liberis Business Cash Advance.
In October 2016, Chris used his first Business Cash Advance for stock to support the seasonal boost in sales ahead of the Christmas period. He found that the service from Liberis was exemplary and the payment system really suited his business, working perfectly in line with his needs.
"It's a newer form of funding and it really does suit what small businesses want. The flexibility of it sounds great on paper, and it’s even better in practice. A small amount of every card transaction goes towards payment, so you don't even miss it. All finance should be done this way!"
The additional funding and surge in growth has seen Blacks Cheese increase their acceptance of card payments from the use of one Worldpay card machine to three to cater for demand. They have also started to sell their products online. Chris says that they will soon be growing the number of stockists they work with, looking to double both their workforce and their revenue in the coming months.
"Worldpay and Liberis are part of our story, and that's important,” he says, “I would recommend them highly.”