American retailers account for more than half of the firm’s £17million turnover and the London-based manufacturer, which already supplies Costco there, will use the latest backing to target chains including Walmart, Whole Foods Market and Safeway. “North America has quickly become our number one avenue for international growth,” says founder Julian Dyer who has just launched seven new desserts specifically for the US market. “Our chocolate fudge lava cake does particularly well. Our desserts are a quarter of the price you’ll find in a restaurant. There is no single serve premium category there at the moment, but we have to move quickly.”
The flexible finance he received, supported also by Government-backed UK Export Finance, is “vital because it enables us to scale at speed and helps with our cashflow covering the time it takes to transport, a key issue for smaller firms especially when trading with America,” he adds.
Pots, started in 2012 by Dyer in a rented kitchen, supplies BA, Selfridges and Eat and is renowned for baking in signature reuseable and recyclable ceramic pots, a method that enhances the puddings’ creaminess and flavours.
The vegetarian recipes, UK favourite is its Salted Caramel and Chocolate, use ethically sourced ingredients, such as Fairtrade cocoa from Colombia.
Fraser Thomson, formerly a chef with Michelin-starred restaurant The Square, leads new product development for the business which has also launched a new lower-calorie fruit-based based range in glass pots stocked by Waitrose.
While tariffs are not a concern for Dyer, potential Brexit chaos causing hold-ups at ports is.
“We do a lot of business with Germany, so with our fresh product quality it is a worry,” he says. “We stocked up on six months’ of supplies but then nothing happened. Now we are doing this again. But like other businesses we stay positive and are determined to get through it.”
Its new funding is part of a £2.6 billion lending programme from Lloyds to London businesses this year.
Terri Rose, Lloyds Commercial Banking relationship director said: “Pots & Co is an outstanding example of how a business can be sustainable in its growth through an ambitious and considered strategy for global expansion. We proud to support ambitious brands flying the flag for British business.”