Barnsley innovation taps into growing appetite for sushi

16 July 2013

A Barnsley entrepreneur with a healthy interest in Japanese cuisine has launched an innovative new product to help cafes and delis ‘roll their own’ sushi snacks.

Sushi Machines Ltd has designed, developed and manufactured the ‘Roller-35’ sushi-making machine - which enables novices to create perfect 35mm-diameter sushi rolls in minutes.

The launch of the patented gadget makes Sushi Machines the very first sushi machine manufacturing company in Europe.

The compact, easy-to-use Roller 25 is designed to fit snugly in a small commercial kitchen or behind the counter in an urban sandwich bar or cafe. Every component of the simple, stainless steel machine is manufactured in the UK and is assembled in Yorkshire.

Company director Stuart Turner said: “Sushi making is an art that can take years to perfect, but with our revolutionary new machine anyone can do it proficiently with ten minutes training – we even provide a step-by-step on-line guide.”

Sushi Machines has been supported to develop and market its innovation by Enterprising Barnsley specialist business coaches.

Stuart said: “A couple of years ago, we spotted a growing demand for sushi in the ‘food-to-go’ and restaurant market and so decided to develop a product aimed at enabling small catering businesses to add the potentially lucrative line to their menu.”

The new Roller 35 has been sold via distributors for about three months now and has already reached customers as far afield as France, Spain, Sweden and even Japan. Stuart plans to promote the product to more commercial buyers at two trade fairs in London later this year. 

Sushi machines will launch a smaller roller designed to make 25mm sushi rolls soon and is currently developing a range of other sushi making machines.

Based at the Oaks Lane Business Park in Barnsley, Sushi Machines is a spin-out company from Sushisushi Ltd, which Stuart set up in 2007. Sushisushi sells 600 lines of Japanese ingredients and products to global customers via its website and other outlets such as Amazon. It also sells direct to Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. Sushisushi employs five and has increased sales by 50 per cent year on year for the past three years, with turnover reaching £750,000 this year.

Enterprising Barnsley business development manager Angela Pedley said: “Stuart’s passion for sushi and his determination to champion the food commercially has turned Barnsley into a business hub for Japan’s famous export.

“There appears to be a growing appetite for sushi in the UK and beyond and Stuart’s specialist innovation makes him a pioneer in this international market.”

Stuart launched his sushi business after back-packing around Australia seven years ago. He found high-quality sushi was very popular there and on his return to the UK, decided to invest in the market straight away, anticipating its growth here.

Sushi fan Stuart can only see the food stuff becoming an even bigger seller. He said: “Sushi is not raw fish. Sushi is, in fact, Japanese for seasoned rice and, just like sandwiches, what you put in a piece of sushi is up to you – vegetables, fish or any kind or meat. It’s a healthy fast food option – which can use any seasonal ingredients and is rich in nutrients.”

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency (BDA) and Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre. It aims to support Barnsley-based businesses with growth potential.

It is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £2,259,511 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

NOTES TO EDITOR

Photograph shows Stuart Turner with his innovative sushi rolling machine.

For further information contact Stuart Turner on 01226 730584 or sales@sushimachines.co.uk Visit www.sushimachines.co.uk

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is part financed by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding

For more information about Enterprising Barnsley go to www.enterprisingbarnsley.co.ukor contact Martin Beasley on 01226 772648 or at martinbeasley@barnsley.gov.uk

Additional media contact: Steph Pollard at steph@capitalbmedia.co.uk or on 01226 766900/ 0776 196 4492.

 

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