Street Eats range

Almost 200 jobs have been saved at food-to-go operator Tasties of Chester after former Adelie Foods CEO Gavin Cox put together a rescue deal with administrators.

The business, which trades under the Street Eats brand, had been under pressure since investing £4m in a new 40,000 sq ft sandwich making factory near Heathrow in February 2016.

Problems at the facility resulted in cashflow difficulties, said administrators at Duff & Phelps, which was appointed to Tasties of Chester Ltd on 28 June 2017.

Tasties had already sold the Heathrow facility to listed food-to-go supplier Greencore before entering administration, securing more than 90 jobs.

Duff & Phelps offloaded the remaining business and assets to Street Eat Foods Ltd, a newly formed company backed by Cox, who has been assisting the business as a financial consultant since February this year, alongside commercial director Guy Truman.

The deal saved all 188 jobs at the main factory in Sandymouth, near Chester.

Tasties was owned by parent company PK Food Concepts, a former Grocer Fast 50 business, when it entered administration. The business, which made up 60% of total group revenues of more than £20m, predominantly supplies sandwiches, wraps, toasties, paninis and salads to customers in the foodservice sector, including hospitality, events, travel, education and healthcare.

PK Food, and separate subsidiary Pasta King, was not part of the administration process and continues to trade normally under CEO Paul Bates, who was not part of the deal for Tasties.

“The Tasties deal was a complex transaction due to the separation of the two sites and the involvement of numerous stakeholders,” joint administrator Steve Muncaster said.

“We are pleased that we have been able to assist the company and its stakeholders in facilitating a solution that has preserved the Chester business and, most importantly, secured the jobs of 277 employees across the two sites.”

Bates said last year that the Heathrow factory would create 300 jobs once fully operation and would boost manufacturing capability three-fold. Tasties invested in the new factory to keep up with demand as the Chester site got close to full capacity.

A Greencore spokeswoman said in a statement: “The acquisition [of the sandwich factory near Heathrow] provides Greencore with additional manufacturing capacity, which is required to meet its high growth agenda within the food to go market.”

Pasta King CEO Paul Bates added: “Clearly the Pasta King business is VC owned and as such there is always the potential for a sale if the right deal can be struck. However, it’s very much business as usual at the moment.