Angelic Gluten Free, a small business based in the Highlands of Scotland, plans to extend its range of sweet biscuits to include savoury snacks, and to roll out in the Middle East and Europe after agreeing a £17,500 loan with RBS.
Kirsty Gillies from Inverness set up the firm just over a year ago with help from her mum Christine.
Gillies, who is gluten-intolerant, noticed a gap in the market for delicious but reduced fat gluten-free snacks, so left her job in chartered accountancy to develop suitable recipes for delicious, but healthy cookies.
Two hundred recipes later, she hit upon the right taste combination while reducing fat and removing gluten, diary, egg and wheat. Her business has now expanded and moved from her home kitchen into a bakery that manufactures the cookies for her.
Angelic now produces four different flavoured cookies; cranberry crunch, double chocolate, orange chocolate and ginger crunch. Each flavour comes in two packet sizes; either retail for health stores and shops or snack size for cafes. Gillies plans to extend the range to include savoury snacks and re-launch the snack size line.
Working with Nicola Douglas and Lynne Mackay, Business Specialists for Scotland, Highlands, successfully obtained a business loan. Mackay even spent a day working as Gillies’ employee to gain an insight into the way the business works.
Gillies used the loan to fund growth capacity, meaning that Angelic Gluten Free can take on more orders. She anticipates the funding will help to increase turnover by 200% by the end of the year.
“The whole experience was excellent. The team at RBS were very supportive and really took an interest in the business, how it operates and our vision,” says Gillies.
“While it’s been helpful I have an accountancy background, it’s still been hard work and I’ve been so pleased to have the support of RBS.”
Mackay added: “Having gained a unique insight into the running of Angelic Gluten Free, we were impressed with the company’s ambitions. The gluten free market is growing and growing and Kirsty’s products are delicious. We’re delighted to play a part in international expansion plans.”