Gourmet meal, kit and pie maker Charlie Bigham’s has appointed a new head of food to support its growth.

Georgina Wood has joined the company from independent upmarket sandwich chain concept Pardoe & Wood where she was a director. Prior to Pardoe & Wood, she was head of food at sandwich chain Eat, and also worked for Hazlewood Foods.

Her appointment follows a stellar year for Charlie Bigham’s where sales have rocketed 40%, from £5m to £7m, in the past year.

“Charlie Bigham’s has a reputation for making the highest quality and most innovative ready meals on the market,” said Wood. “This is an extremely exciting opportunity with a company that has a fantastic food culture.”

Added founder Charlie Bigham: “We’re excited to find somebody with Georgina’s ability and creativity. Her experience from her previous roles will be a huge asset to our growing team - it’s going to be great working with her on lots of new dishes.”

Meanwhile, Charlie Bigham’s has extended its range of ready meals designed for two people. The nine-strong range, which will be available in Waitrose and Ocado next month (rsp: £5.99), now includes meals such as salmon en croute, carbonara al forno and red Thai chicken curry.

“I’ve been making twosomes dishes since 1996 and am delighted to be launching our biggest ever range of new products - designed to give couples the chance to steal back some time together,” Bigham added.