Devon-based Pasta King acquired by entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland



Devon-based Pasta King, a national supplier of nutritious pasta meals to schools in the UK, has been acquired by two entrepreneurs from Northern Ireland, Paul Allen and Michael Blaney. The Bristol team of Allied Irish Bank (GB) provided financing to support the acquisition.

Founded in 1994, Pasta King employs 55 people at its headquarters in Newton Abbot, Devon, including a nationwide network of field sales managers.

Pasta King provides over 13 million nutritious take-out meals to the UK primary and secondary education sector, with a growing presence in the health, leisure and care sectors.

The company has a turnover of around £ 8million and operates through a network of 19 regional distribution centers to deliver chilled sauces daily.

Last year, Pasta King was named Outstanding Supplier of the Year 2018 by LACA (The School Food People) in the education sector.

Paul Allen, who acquired Genesis Bakery in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland last year, and who was previously CEO of Tayto Group, said: “Pasta King provides meal solutions that primarily include pasta with made-to-order sauces. . Meals are served hot in pasta bars on loan to company customers. As a tasty and healthy food offering, Pasta King has become very popular in primary and secondary schools across the UK and meets government standards for salt, saturated fat and vegetable content.

Allen continued, “Pasta King provides a quick, convenient and freshly prepared solution for caterers faced with an ever-shrinking choice of menu options to offer to students. In addition to its leading position in the UK education sector, Pasta King has a growing presence in academia, business and industry, the leisure sector and healthcare facilities. The company is in a strong position and there is a wide range of expansion opportunities to explore, such as our recent trial of a line of individual coffee lunch boxes for the retail and healthcare industries. .

“There are important synergies between Pasta King and the many other companies that Michael and I have worked with in our careers to date. We believe that our combined knowledge of the market, coupled with our extensive network, will drive the growth of Pasta King. We hope to build on this acquisition and look forward to working closely with the dynamic team at Pasta King. I must also pay tribute to Keystone Law and Allied Irish Bank (GB) who gave me the most support throughout the buying process. The service and support provided by both organizations has been exceptional.

Michael Blaney, who was the owner and managing director of Autoline Insurance Group in Northern Ireland before selling the business last year, is the new co-owner of Pasta King.

Blaney commented, “Paul and I are pooling our considerable expertise and experience to build on Pasta King’s strong track record of success and help expand into new markets. The company has constantly innovated and developed new products to meet a wide range of dietary needs with vegan, vegetarian, celiac and halal options among its offering.

“Pasta King also recently launched an exciting new line of curries and Mexican concepts such as burritos and nachos, which will undoubtedly increase its appeal to customers. In addition, we are currently exploring the production of own brand sauces and ready meals solutions for a number of customers. “

Blaney continued, “Pasta King is committed to providing nutritious food and, in terms of food auditing and accreditation standards, it has a BRC rating as well as the Food for Life catering brand.

“Sustainability in non-food areas is also important for consumers and operators. Pasta King has responded to these needs with the introduction of a new pot that is 100% plastic-free and fully compostable. Newton Abbot’s manufacturing kitchens in Devon operate on a zero landfill policy with all electricity coming from sustainable sources.

Kevin Goodall, Relationship Manager in Bristol at Allied Irish Bank (GB), adds: “Paul Allen and Michael Blaney both have impressive business backgrounds, and we were keen to support their ambitions to buy and develop Pasta King. We are delighted to welcome them as a new customer of the bank and wish them the best for the future as they look to further develop the business and build on the established success and reputation of Pasta King.



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