Founded in 2002 in the Herefordshire countryside near Leominster, Tyrrell’s is a producer of multi award-winning potato chips. Making crisps from potatoes it grows on its own farm, Tyrrell’s is understandably proud of controlling the entire production process, from seed to chip.
Based in Herefordshire, Tyrrells is the only chip maker to grow its own potatoes and process them into chips on the farm, controlling the whole process from seed to chip. Two years ago, the company had begun to set its sights on overseas markets, in part driven by strong interest at trade shows. But Export Manager, Alan Jack, believes the firm faced challenge and opportunity in equal measure.
"Every trade show brought new interest, but export isn't something you can just pick up and run with. You have to have the right contacts and processes in place and pick the right opportunities. At the time, no-one at Tyrrells had any experience of export operations. The business needed help to make the most of a golden opportunity."
Tyrrells joined the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, specifically to access help and advice on export and international trade. Ever since, the business has worked closely with West Midlands Food and Drink Sector advisor Helen Bethell to put in place a professional and profitable export operation.
"The team at the Chamber, and particularly Helen, helped us to build an export operation from the ground up, from paperwork and logistics to funding and finding customers."
In just two years, Tyrrells products have been on sale in 35 countries worldwide and export income is set to reach £1.7m this year. Alan believes that much of this success came because the business had the right support when it mattered.
"It has not just been about advice. The Chamber has brokered relationships with customers all over the world, secured funding so we could exhibit at international trade shows and, most importantly, helped us to export profitably. The Chamber was instrumental in our early success and continues to provide exceptional help and advice to this day."
With such a positive outcome, it comes as no surprise that they were winners of the Award for Outstanding Business Achievement at the Chamber Awards in 2007.