A local manufacturing firm supplying products to the coffee market, with bold expansion plans has tapped into specialist advice from the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) to boost its growth and guarantee a perfect cappuccino for customers every time.

Clockwork Espresso – which expects to treble its turnover, double staff numbers and increase export sales by 50% in the next year – turned to the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s MGP to help commercialise its products quickly and efficiently.

The company is eyeing new sales opportunities in overseas markets – pioneering a new product to help baristas prepare coffee beans to ensure the perfect cup for customers no matter what their favourite drink.

PUSH, by Newcastle small business Clockwork Espresso, combines coffee with precision engineering. PUSH is a unique coffee tamper, the essential tool of the barista, which is used to compress, or ‘tamp’, ground coffee in the process of making espresso. For professionals and connoisseurs, tamping coffee precisely and consistently is the key to making consistently good espresso.

Established in February 2014 by founder and owner Peter Southern, Clockwork Espresso brought PUSH to market in April 2016 and it was well received immediately, winning the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe Excellence Award for Innovation 2016.

PUSH features stepless adjustment, which allows precise setting and guarantees perfectly level and exact tamping every time, meaning fewer mistakes, less variation between espresso shots, and less wastage.  PUSH is also the only tamper developed with, and tested by, ergonomics experts, to reduce the risk of injury.  And it’s made in the North East.

After a successful and very busy product launch, Peter Southern sought advice from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) Manufacturing Growth Programme to help him stay focussed.

Peter said: “As a relatively a new business, we are learning as we go and we understand that no two days are the same. Things change, and issues can come up that were unforeseen, and they can affect the whole business. It’s useful to have someone who can identify those issues, that we may not necessarily spot.”

The MGP links experienced manufacturing business advisers with senior management teams, working together using a holistic approach to business diagnostic and improvement, to identify how to improve performance across all areas of their operations.

The MGP connected Clockwork Espresso with its specialist consultant, Graham Sleep, Founder and MD of Improvement Architecture.

Colin Bell, North East LEP Business Growth Director, said: “We identified Graham Sleep through the Manufacturing Growth Programme as the specialist best placed to help Clockwork Espresso take the next steps to get their innovative product to market.

“The company has ambitious growth plans, a passion for coffee and a real understanding of what customers want in a highly competitive marketplace.”

The MGP pilot programme will run until July 2017 and aims to work with more than 80 businesses to create 160 new manufacturing jobs.  It forms part of the North East LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan to foster growth within key sectors of the economy to create more and better jobs.

If you are, or could be, a North East manufacturer and want help to grow, visit www.ne-mgp.co.uk.