Family-run manufacturing firm Caribbean Blinds hopes major factory expansion will provide big boost to Sudbury economy
A family-run firm hopes its major factory expansion will be a huge benefit to the Sudbury economy, after revealing ambitions to triple its workforce and more than double its current turnover over the coming years.
Work is under way on a 10,000 square-foot extension at the current base of shading manufacturer Caribbean Blinds, targeted for completion in October, to help meet rising demand, following a strong start to 2021.
Off the back of an impressive 2020, despite the coronavirus crisis, the company saw its turnover increase by 117 per cent between January and June, compared with the first six months of the previous year.
Staff numbers grew from 18 to 24 this year, with another six employees set to be recruited by December. Over the long-term, the business plans to boost its workforce to 48 before the end of 2022, and around 70 in the next four years.
It has also outlined targets of reaching annual revenue of £5 million before the end of next year, and then doubling the turnover to £10 million by 2025.
Managing director Stuart Dantzic, who runs Caribbean Blinds with his brother, Brad, explained they had set ambitious growth targets before Covid-19, but the situation had led them to optimise their systems to meet the demands of clients.
He told Suffolk News the investment in their factory on Woodhall Business Park in Drury Drive would enable them to continue their two-decade residence in Sudbury, as well as employ more people in the area.
“As a company with a heritage in Sudbury for 20 years, it’s important to us that not only are we a Sudbury company, but a growing Sudbury company,” he said.
“The majority of our workforce comes from Sudbury and the surrounding area, and part of our ambition is supporting the local economy and pumping back into it.
“In terms of the sales, we had our targets set out prior to the pandemic, but it certainly changed how we went about hitting those targets.
“It also affected our business model in terms of how we got our products out to market. It has certainly fuelled growth.
“The biggest thing was lead times. Clients had decided that, if they wanted the products, they wanted them ‘yesterday’.
“We had to change the way our systems worked so they could have the products within a space of a few weeks, rather than a few months.
“We also started working with a number of companies as part of a larger product delivery scheme. That made a big difference during the pandemic period.
“The extension to our current factory will increase our storage, freeing up our main building purely for production, which will enable us to hit our growth targets of £10 million per annum.
“We will be able to offer clients shorter lead times, which will mean our factory staff will increase to keep up with demand.”