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Pipers

A new flavour of banking

We meet Alex Albone, Founder of Pipers. Alex had a passion to create great tasting crisps. Today Barclays is supporting Pipers’ ambitions to trade internationally.

Find out how we could support your business.

Alex Albone, Founder, Pipers:

I am a farmer from North Lincolnshire and I was looking around and thinking what can I do, what can I do to be different, What’s the future? There were three of us, two great friends of mine who both came from farming families. We started talking about localism, we started having an upsurge about food innovation. And my thought was if we could take potatoes from Lincolnshire, turn them into crisps, turn them into a product and we could sell them locally.

 

Tom Mason, Industry Director, Barclays:

If you meet Alex he's so passionate about his business. You can't help but get excited when you sit in front of him talking about crisps. I’m a crisp lover and I love interacting with the brand. But for me there's also a growth story here and I want to be part of that.

 

Alex Albone, Founder, Pipers:

We built a little factory and we started making crisps. I have to say, we had no idea who we were going to sell our crisps to. I had four flavours and I had a friend with four pubs. So I had a market for 16 boxes and I went to deliver crisps to his pubs. And that was the start of our very, very, very naïve business plan

 

Pipers employees:

My Favourite flavour would have to be…

I like…

Umm…

Erm…

It’s always a toss-up for me.

Jalapeño and Dill

Anglesey Sea Salt

The sweet chilli ones

Black Pepper and Sea Salt

Cheddar, cheddar

 

Alex Albone, Founder, Pipers:

Our business turns over around £12.5m. We make, 35 million packets of crisps or thereabouts. Our business is growing at around 20% a year.

 

Tom Mason, Industry Director, Barclays:

They're growing so rapidly as a business that they needed to build their infrastructure. What we devised with them was an asset finance schedule. So we looked at funding, you know, the early stages through trade loans all the way through to the asset finance purchase.

 

Alex Albone, Founder, Pipers:

Barclays have supported us in the purchase of two robotic packing machines.

 

Tom Mason, Industry Director, Barclays:

The machine allows them to pack faster and get more crisps out the door.

 

Alex Albone, Founder, Pipers:

I feel immensely proud of what we have achieved. I’d like to see us go beyond that and see Pipers known internationally. We will rely upon Barclays for that international growth.

 

Tom Mason, Industry Director, Barclays:

We want to be part of helping them export and get their products in front of international global buyers

 

Alex Albone, Founder, Pipers:

Yeah, we’re bold. We do stuff without compromise.

 

Tom Mason, Industry Director, Barclays:

They're a winner in a market that’s very challenging at the moment. They’ve done everything right and we want to be part of that story. I’m always being asked, when’s the next flavour? What’s the next flavour you’re going to come up with? I don’t know. I’ve no idea. But at the end of the day, we’ll look at something and we’ll go, that’s a Pipers flavour.

Pipers was founded in 2004 when three farmers decided to produce great tasting, quality crisps using local potatoes.

Using carefully selected flavour partners, Pipers now produces award-winning crisps and provides an inspiring story of growth and expansion.

Through a variety of trade and asset finance solutions, Barclays has supported the acquisition of key manufacturing infrastructure and equipment that’s helped to transform this local food enterprise into a brand with international reach.

Barclays has been a great supporter of our business.

Alex Albone

Founder of Pipers

The development of Pipers’ manufacturing facility has improved its ability to scale production and be more agile at key points during the year.

Having crunched its way through the UK market, Pipers is now looking to move into the global marketplace.

Providing industry expertise and a range of trade solutions, Barclays is committed to helping Pipers’ international ambitions become a reality.

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