Stoats, the oats company, is to open a new factory in the south of Edinburgh as part of a major expansion plan.
The move will allow the company to increase manufacture of their Stoats porridge oat bars. It currently produces over nine million bars per year and this figure continues to rise year on year with increased consumer demand.
The company is on track to reach a turnover of £10m by 2020, and has secured numerous new listings across the UK in the past year particularly with the major retailers including Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s as well as wholesalers Bidfood and Brakes.
The 22,000 sq. ft. facility at Bilston Glen Industrial Estate in Loanhead, will become the new headquarters for 40 staff initially across bakery, sales, marketing and operations. Stoats is committed to building a diverse, multi-cultural workforce and an inclusive work environment, as well as investing in training, skills and development. The company has already taken on Modern Apprentices as part of the expansion and is proud to be a Living Wage employer.
Managing Director at Stoats, Tony Stone said: “We have come a long way since I began baking porridge bars in our family kitchen over 12 years ago. We’re really thrilled to be opening our own factory, where we can invest more in developing new products in both existing and new categories, as well as own label products. The new factory gives us the opportunity to realise our ambitious plans, including increasing distribution across the UK and internationally. We can be more agile in our approach and we’re better placed to meet the demands of retailers and consumers.”
An impressive New Product Development (NPD) Kitchen is being installed on site and is due to open in Spring 2018. As well as developing new recipes, the NPD Kitchen will allow Stoats to host schools and educational groups, with a focus on healthy eating and learning about the power of the humble oat.
Funding for the new factory was supported by Midlothian RSA (Regional Selective Assistance) and HSBC Bank.
Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for economic development, Councillor Russell Imrie, welcomed the move to Midlothian. “We are delighted that Stoats have decided to relocate at Loanhead, allowing them to expand their operations, invest in new products and secure local jobs. Stoats are a successful company who are committed to their workforce, with a reputation for quality products and with plans to grow their market share. They are a welcome and prestigious addition to Midlothian’s business sector.”
Susan Rowand, HSBC Head of Business Banking in Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see a Scottish brand continue to expand with a new factory enabling an increase in both production and distribution. We were more than happy to enable Stoats to realise their UK and international growth ambitions through its new factory in Edinburgh.”
As well as UK-wide success, Stoats has seen year on year double digit growth in export sales too. It now exports to 12 international markets including the US, Benelux and the Middle East and is seeing growing success in these export markets as customers seek out wholesome snacking opportunities and appreciate the provenance and natural credentials of the company’s products.
Stoats is an independent company owned and operated by MD, Tony Stone and Director, Bob Arnott. The business partners, both from Edinburgh, established the company in 2005.