Coventry packaging business eyes up further growth after lockdown sales boom

A packaging business which has seen its sales boom during lockdown is on track to increase its turnover by more than tenfold.

Husband and wife Mark and Joanna Farr bought Devon-based Purple Packaging in 2019 – and moved the whole operation to Coventry.

The business sells a range of environmentally-friendly food and drink containers – from hot and cold drink cups to takeaway cartons – to a range of sectors including education and hospitality.

Due to lockdown, and the rise of businesses delivering food and offering takeaway services, the company has seen a major rise in sales over the past 18 months.

Now the business is on course to go from an annual turnover of £120,000 to around £1.6 million in 2022.

It is also taking on new staff, investing in technology and taking extra warehouse space at its base on the Seven Stars Industrial Estate.

Mark said: “We bought the business because we saw great potential but when lockdown hit, sales rose much quicker than we could have ever anticipated.

“We were working seven days a week to fulfil orders and it meant it was harder to get some of those business basics in place.”

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The company turned to the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce for support and recently welcomed president Tom Mongan and membership manager Hazel Pilling to the business for a visit.

Mark added: “The Chamber has been a real lifeline for us. Neither of us are business people – this was a new venture for us – so to have the Chamber’s guidance on some of the processes and procedures we needed to have in place has been key.

“We will be recruiting very soon to ensure we continue to grow because there are so many opportunities, starting here in Coventry and Warwickshire, for us to expand our share of the market.”

Chamber president Tom Mongan said: “Mark and Joanna are an inspiration to anyone who wants to start a business because of what they have achieved in such a short space of time.

“The pandemic has seen their orders grow much more quickly than they could have predicted initially but they have responded to that and have had a very busy first couple of years.

“The team at the Chamber has worked with Purple Packaging to offer a whole host of practical support and that will stand the business in good stead as it plans for further growth.”

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