Jeff the Chef
A real recipe for success
Geoff Johns always knew that ‘parmos’ were popular – but didn’t realise just how popular they were going to be until Redcar and Cleveland’s Enterprise Team got involved!
Geoff had been a chef for more than 25 years including eight years running his own successful catering business when he decided that he had to do something about his idea of turning local delicacy the ‘parmo’ into a national favourite.
He approached Redcar and Cleveland’s Enterprise Team who helped him launch ‘Jeff the Chef Foods Ltd’ with funding towards premises and new equipment and advice and guidance on research, packaging, licensing and new product development.
His parmos now grace the shelves of major supermarkets including Asda and Morrisons with further major contracts in negotiation. Geoff has moved the production into new premises and has increased staff numbers to 22 to manage increased orders.
Helped by his partner Andrea who works alongside him at the company, 44-year-old Geoff also has expert taste advice from his children thirteen-year-old Abbie, twelve-year-old Jack and nine-year-old Carla.
“I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner” he said. “I knew it was a good idea because it just wouldn’t go away and when the Enterprise Team agreed I knew I had to do something about it.
“I did and I’ve never regretted it – I still work very hard, and sometimes it’s very stressful but I am glad that I believed in myself and my idea as it has turned out to be the best decision I ever made.”
Geoff is now looking at further expansion including the launch of a chilled kebab into supermarkets.
“I will always be grateful to the Enterprise Team for believing in me and my idea. They were very helpful and gave me great support and guidance.
“My relationship with them is still strong even now and I often get in touch to ask their advice and opinion. I would encourage anyone who has an idea or is thinking of setting up their own business to make the Enterprise Team their first port of call.”