Catering equipment firm bounces back from fire

Catering equipment manufacturer Craven & Co is celebrating a double-digit growth in orders exactly one year after a major fire at its HQ threatened the entire future of the business.

The Knaresborough firm, which makes shelving, storage and handling equipment for the catering sector, almost faced the prospect of having to close its factory and lay off its 50-strong workforce after the blaze broke out in an area where plastic coating is put on to metal shelving.

The blaze caused hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage and part of the factory was closed for over a month, but the company has fought back over the past 12 months and this week reflected on the progress it has made since the devastating incident.

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Angus Milnes, managing director of Craven & Co, said the business had grown more than 20% in the last year, which is testament to the strength of the team and the provisions put in place immediately after the fire.

“We set about working our documented disaster recovery plan and liaising with suppliers and customers,” explained Milne. “Four weeks after the fire, we started initial production trials and one week after that went back to full production.”

Craven & Co believes the increase in sales that it has posted over the past year is partly down to the fact that it was quick and honest in letting people know what had happened.

National sales manager, Neil Fox, said: “I believe customers appreciated our honesty and openness. We want to say thanks to our customers and staff for their support and loyalty which have made Craven & Co even stronger than before the fire.”

Craven & Co was founded in 1958 to fulfil the storage and handling needs of the local community, but has grown to serve customers throughout the UK. Its stainless steel catering products are all built at its factory in North Yorkshire.

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