Family-owned ice cream brand, Morelli’s, is set to expand sales into Great Britain and the Irish Republic after a £700,000 investment programme has seen it treble production capacity.
The move follows the competion of the third and final phase of a major three-year investment programme, with support from Ulster Bank.
The family-run business has invested £350,000 to expand its Coleraine base of operations, including expanding its production and storage facilities, adding an additional 3,300sqft to the now 10,000sqft north coast factory, and modernising its head offices.
The latest phase forms part of an overall £700,000 investment programme which launched in 2015.
It follows upgrades to manufacturing equipment, the development of a large-capacity freezer store, and the refurbishment of its flagship parlour in Portrush.
The project was also supported with a capital grant from Invest NI.
“We were operating near to full capacity, producing 700,000 litres annually,” said Arnaldo Morelli, the current head of the business founded in 1911.
“The investment has enabled us to almost treble production capacity to two million litres per year.
“As well as our own family stores, we supply supermarkets and hundreds of independent retailers across Northern Ireland.
“This investment will enable us to increase exports to ROI and explore new markets in GB, safe in the knowledge that we have the capacity to fulfil growing consumer demand.”
Rhonda McClelland, business development manager at Ulster Bank, said the firm, which won seven Great Taste Gold Star awards and double Gold at the annual Ice Cream Alliance Awards this year was, “a shining example of Northern Ireland’s growing list of quality food and drink producers”.
“We’re extremely proud to support the Morelli family as they expand their business and explore export opportunities to new markets.”
The firm operates a number of family-owned retail outlets across the province as well as several franchised units.