Investment helps health food firm grows sales and win new contracts

Virginia Health Foods has more than doubled its sales and secured contracts with several major retailer suppliers.

The Cork-based health food company links this growth directly to a recent substantial investment arranged with the CorkBIC Business Angel Partnership and Enterprise Ireland. Virginia now also plans to use the investment to grow the business, develop new products and create jobs.

The family-owned company was founded by food scientist and nutritionist Helen O’Dowd, based in Oysterhaven. Virginia develops and supplies health foods and gluten-free bakery mixes to the retail sector, in Ireland, UK, Germany and Portugal.

Helen O’Dowd said: “My fundamental belief is in the wisdom of eating wholesome natural foods over processed foods works better than any medicine. This investment not only enables us to grow our business but also to innovate and look at new products for what is a rapidly expanding marketplace. We are also delighted to be able to create jobs both in our company and our partner companies.”

Virginia’s range of gluten-free bakery mixes have been listed in Sainsbury’s UK and sales continue to climb. A newly branded Helen’s range of nutritional cereal toppings was recently launched which has been extremely well received by the market, resulting in a significant growth in sales and a listing secured with Intermarché in Portugal to supply 235 stores.

Ms O’Dowd said that working with CorkBIC had enabled her to pitch their business proposition to qualified investors in a confidential and supportive environment.

Mark O’Sullivan of CorkBIC Business Angel Partnership said: “We are delighted to work with Helen and her team in raising this private equity seed investment.

“There is significant potential in this sector for innovative products and this investment really lets Helen and her team concentrate on new product development and growing sales.”


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