• Date

    04 May 2021
  • Category

    Banking & Finance

Roller coaster year for Top Line Foods

The Crewe based business is an importer and exporter of Organic Dried Fruit, Coconut, Protein powders and bulk ingredients with sister companies in the Netherlands & Turkey.  It sells 100% Organic, Vegan & plant based ingredients, sustainably sourced from around the world.  Working with known producers, their own projects and established suppliers, Top Line Foods source, import and export around the globe only first grade ingredients.

Seven years on, it’s fair to say that Top Line Foods has had a roller coaster 2020.  The double whammy of Brexit and Covid 19 has seen the business suffer on all fronts.  Food services businesses weren’t eligible for any government support and Top Line Foods lost 40% of its customers due to Brexit.

If that wasn’t challenging enough, the business banking arrangements were withdrawn at short notice.  An issue that’s happening more and more to SMEs, Cindy believes.  She thinks more needs to be done to protect other businesses from the same happening to them.  

“I’ve banked with the same bank since starting the business and have never had any issues. Out of the blue, I received an email to say that I had to find a new bank within the next 6 weeks. My house and business were on the line, with very little time to act, and all during a global pandemic!”

Azets, a leading UK accountancy firm and businesses advisors to SMEs, has advised the firm for a number of years and was instrumental in supporting Top Line Foods with its refinancing.

“Azets were such an asset to me. Top Line Foods wouldn’t be trading without their support. They sorted the unsortable, using their contacts in such a short timescale over the Christmas period to resolve our problem and set up new financing arrangements.  My advice to other firms is get the best accountant you can afford.  High quality business advice is worth its weight in gold.”

Despite numerous setbacks, Cindy Morrisette, is feeling positive about 2021. 

“As a UK importer, we’re now actually benefiting from Brexit.  There’s been a resurgence in British businesses wanting to buy from other British firms.  Covid has reduced many people’s incomes but the importance of health and wellbeing has never been more important.  We’re seeing people spending more on food and better quality food at that.  I’m more driven to succeed, more positive. I just love what I do!”

She’s hoping to start recruiting again and specifically wants to attract older people who have been made redundant or young people who are struggling to get a foot on the employment ladder.   

“Top Line Foods is a great place to work, we’ve got a really loyal, hard working team with a strong work ethic and a ‘can do’ ethos.  I want to support other people whose job prospects have been impacted by the pandemic to get back into the workforce.  I’d encourage people to get in touch to discuss current opportunities.”

Explaining how Azets has helped the business to achieve its ambitions, Graham Rigby, Azets Client Relationship Partner said: “Cindy came to us for advice and I am delighted we have been able to support Top Line Foods on its plans for strategic growth, both in the UK and by introducing Cindy to our counterparts on mainland Europe.  In addition to year end accounting and tax compliance, Azets has advised Top Line Foods on cash flow forecasting, VAT matters and access to funding during the Coronavirus pandemic, ultimately leading to the refinancing.  Top Line Foods is well positioned for future expansion and with Cindy at the helm I am confident the business will continue to be a great success, no matter what challenges lie ahead.”

“It has been very rewarding for the Azets team to have been involved with Cindy and her colleagues. Our work with Top Line Foods is a great example of how Azets provide owner-managed businesses with access to expert advice and accounting support in a wide range of scenarios. I’d urge any other businesses with plans for growth to seek professional advice to get the right outcome.”  

About the author

Graham Rigby Photo

Graham Rigby

Regional Managing Partner Manchester
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