If the town of Wigan was not celebrating enough after the football team's heroics in the FA Cup final, a pie maker based in the area has now vowed to create hundreds of new jobs.
Just days after Roberto Martinez's men lifted the cup at Wembley Stadium by beating Manchester City, Neil Court-Johnston, chief executive of Pooles Pies, has unveiled some ambitious plans for the company. He revealed to FoodManufacture.co.uk his vision of the future for the firm which includes providing a major employment boost for the region as well as increasing turnover to £100 million.
Pooles Pies is making giant strides within the retail market after it recently secured a deal for five of its frozen pie products to be stocked in over 500 Asda outlets across the UK. It goes hand-in-hand with the five own-label savoury pastry lines which will also be put into manufacture.
Mr Court-Johnson explained to the news provider that it has been a real rollercoaster ride for the company after its turnover dropped to zero after Morrisons cancelled its contract. However, it has managed to rebuild its reputation by securing a number of own-label supply deal with retailers such as Tesco and Iceland which bumped up its turnover to £12 million a year.
The company owes a lot of its success to Dave Whelan. The Wigan Athletic chairman, and all-round treasure of the town, invested millions into improving the company's site due to his commitment to the workforce in Wigan, and it gives it a real chance of successfully operating within the competitive food industry. The modern manufacturing plant has been integral to Pooles Pies' success, which was constructed shortly before Mr Whelan's departure.
"We have two state-of–the-art facilities side-by-side on the site and they have a combined capacity for a turnover of £100 million, and a workforce of hundreds," Mr Court-Johnson added.
This news combined with the FA Cup win has made it a memorable week for the Lancashire town and it could get even better as the team hopes to avoid relegation from the Premier League by winning their two remaining matches.