26 April, 2006 – Patak’s Foods
Patak’s Foods is one of the UK’s most successful food brands and a name synonymous with top-quality, innovative Indian food. The family-owned business now distributes its products in more than 40 countries worldwide and has established itself as brand leader in many markets.
Patak’s is based in the Northwest and continues to demonstrate its commitment to the area with an £11 million investment in a new state of the art food-processing factory in Leigh near Wigan. The facility, which opened in 2002, is believed to be the largest Indian food factory in the world, employing over 700 people worldwide.
Patak’s first started production in the Northwest from a site at Abram in Wigan. Due to rapid growth, it was necessary to move to larger premises and Patak’s chose nearby Leigh for their new operation.
David Page, Group Managing Director for Patak’s explains the reasons behind the decision:
“Staffing was one of our main issues – having access to a pool of skilled labour is essential to our continued success. The fact that more than thirty per cent of our existing workforce has been with us for over five years is not only testament to our own commitment to staff, but also to the quality of labour in the area. Continued access to this valuable resource pool was therefore hugely important.
“Transport benefits were also important. For a multinational company such as Patak’’s it is imperative that we are able to deliver goods quickly, safely and on time – all of which makes transportation routes a key priority.
“The Leigh site has excellent access to the national and international transport network, which means that our logistical requirements are met by the site’s location whether distributing to customers in the UK or overseas.”
The Patak’s story is an inspirational one. The company was founded by the father of the current Chairman and Chief Executive, Kirit Pathak, in the late 1950s. His father had started making authentic Indian food to sell to the Indian community in the UK when he arrived from Kenya with his wife and six children. But it wasn’t until Kirit, then 17, joined the family operation that the company started its rise to become the leading authentic Indian food brand in the UK.
Alongside his wife, Meena, Director of Product Development, Kirit has built a highly successful company that produces pickles, pastes and chutneys, sauces, ready-meals, pappadums, ready-to-eat breads and frozen ready meals.
More recently, the product range has been extended to include Indian snacks, frozen wraps, microwaveable curries and a complete foodservice range for pubs and restaurants. The business has expanded even further through the acquisition of a chilled snack supplier in Scotland, which produces ethnic hand held snacks and buffet products.
Patak’s products continue to be used by a large proportion of Indian restaurants in the UK, underlining their authenticity and Indian heritage. The range is also widely available nationwide through supermarkets and traditional Indian food shops, allowing curry lovers to replicate their favourite Indian meals at home. In recognition of their success, Kirit Pathak received an OBE in 1996 and Meena received the same accolade in1999.
As demand increases, Kirit and Meena’s vision is that one day we will all reach for a Patak’s product when we crave an Indian meal or snack.
Patak’s 50th anniversary was marked with the launch of Anjali and Meena Pathak’s cookbook.
Source: Patak’s Foods