TRAFFORD-based fruit snack business, Crushed UK, has got off to a flying start, launching its products in 216 Waitrose stores across the country thanks to funding from RBS.

Founded by mum and nursery owner, Jenny Salmon and her friend, Deborah Ewing Chow, Crushed UK takes inspiration from the French culture of pureed fruit being a prominent part of daily healthy eating.

Jenny said “I noticed that in the UK, pureed fruit is specifically marketed to very young children of nursery age.

“However I noticed that when those same children came into school, they would be laughed at for eating ‘baby food’ in pouches. “I felt that there needed to be an ‘older/cooler’ brand that meant that children could continue to enjoy this healthy treat in the way children do in France. Parents and friends agreed.”

With the combination of Deborah’s 25 years in marketing with Jenny’s understanding of the target market, Crushed UK Ltd was born.

The business partners sought specialist help in the development of the product and won a contract with Waitrose to supply stores across the country.

Launching the business against real orders meant that when the business launched, cash flow was a necessity to ensure the fulfilment of orders. Having personally banked with RBS for nearly eight years, Jenny and Deborah approached relationship manager Steve Arden who provided an overdraft facility worth £120,000.

Deborah said: “We are two normal families and between us we didn’t have the cash flow required to grow the business. We are now able to develop more flavours and fulfil orders in line with demand.”

Jenny added: “We have worked up a fantastic relationship with Steve, we see him as a friend. He always jumps on anything we need and we feel that we’ve got someone we really trust to guide us.”

Steve said: “Deborah and Jenny have brought together their respective experiences and skills to create a fantastic product – their contract with Waitrose is a testament to this. I’m looking forward to seeing the business grow in the coming months and reach its full potential.”