No one predicted what 2020 had in store, the coronavirus outbreak hit, schools, colleges, universities and leisure outlets closed. The public panicked, hoarding staple food items which then turned into anything you could get your hands on leaving supermarket shelves empty. This hit the world hard and business around the UK including ours felt the effects. With kitchens and shops closed we were left with tonnes of products and no customer base. We sat down and decided the right thing to do would be to open our doors to the general public, we adapted our website, took a different approach to social media and began to offer home delivery within a 40-mile radius of our factory in Aldridge.
Our products went down a storm which led to customers asking if this would be a permanent option to shop with us. Joe, never one to walk away from an opportunity decided to open a factory shop "The Food Factory by Joe" which will be open six days a week to the general public. You will find a large range of restaurant-quality frozen, chilled and ambient foods at affordable prices along with Joe's famous "when it's gone it's gone" products.
Visit us at: Empire Industrial Estate, Brickyard Road, Aldridge, WS9 8UR
With the success of our curry range over the past nine years, we decided it was time to widen our offering of the most popular food in the country.
We teamed up with Holy Cow! To enhance our extensive curry offer which now includes several authentic regional dishes. All Holy Cow! Sauces are free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Only plant-based ingredients are used which means all Holy Cow! curry sauces are suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians. Their Slow-cooked methods mean that the caramelised onions give the curry it's naturally subtle sweet notes, so there is no need to add sugar. And they're gluten-free too!
As the demand for British Red Tractor product continues to rise, and with provenance becoming ever-more important to our customer base, 2018 saw Love Joes complete the build of a brand new, state of the art cooking and coating factory.
Building on the phenomenal success of our British Crunchy range, this production facility allows us to design and manufacture a range of products using top quality British Red Tractor chicken. Not only this, but it has also allowed us to increase our range of MSC accredited fish products, satisfying a massively increasing demand.
This whole project is a result of listening to our customers, and our passion to exceed their expectations with our innovation, flexibility and quality. From buttermilk chicken, to panko coated cod fillets, we're delighted with the facility - and so are our customers!
2017 is a year of change. Following extensive market research, the team at Love Joe's wanted to refresh the way we do business. To our customers, we were already more than a traditional concept supplier. We were innovators, we were partners, and we were the go-to source for menu solutions. Concepts box us in - and with our demo chefs at site level, development team in the Love Joes innovation zone, and our senior leadership team directing our journey... we took ourselves out of that box.
Our rebrand, our new website, our new approach - are designed to give 'out of the box' thinking to sites around the country. To give menu solutions that add value and provide a better customer experience than ever before. 2017 is the year of excitement, for us - and for you
We invested in our first automated packing line to further improve efficiencies within the factory. We were now able to pack our own products which include our British bites and goujons.
We started the company selling solely chicken thigh. 23 years on and we were selling most cuts of the chicken, buying in over 45 tonne a week. To combat the ever increasing costs, we decided to set up a butchery department as this allowed us to offer bespoke cuts of chicken to our customers.
Love Joe's teamed up with HMC to provide another Halal option to the market. We were now able to reach out to a bigger range of customers.
The food industry became all about grab 'n' go options. We launched our Chicken Paninette concept, consisting of a mini chicken skewer with salad and top on sauces on a flatbread. Customers loved it! It helped them with portion control and quick preparation time.
In 2007 Levi Roots rose to fame when he pitched his iconic Reggae Reggae sauce on the BBC's "Dragon's Den" and won the backing of Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh. We teamed up with Levi Roots to bring Reggae Reggae marinated chicken wraps to the foodservice market.
The company had become more than just food. Caterers were coming to us for branding and advertising. With the cost of outsourcing design agencies becoming too high, we decided to hire our first graphic designer to fulfil the demands of the company and customer needs.
Wrappin Joe's became a hit for the company and sales hit an all-time high. After demand for other easy to prepare meal solutions from our customers, we teamed up with a curry manufacturer and launched a range of authentic frozen curry sauces. We also stocked a range of accompaniments- rice, samosas, naans and sliced chicken strips to give the customers a complete solution.
We became more than just a chicken supplier. We were slowly becoming a one stop shop for customers as we were selling many 3rd party products. With that in mind we decided it was time to rebrand and rename. Love Joe's was launched at LACA along with our first food concept, Wrapping Joes. It was simple- a wrap, sliced marinated chicken, salad and sauce. Customers loved it!
Customer requirements were changing so in order to demonstrate the quality and safety of our products and to fulfil our legal obligations, we worked towards BRC Accreditation. After our first audit we were awarded with a grade A and we have maintained the highest grade since.
After the purchase of Alton Towers Resort by Merlin Entertainments and a brilliant recommendation from Alton Towers to their new owners, Merlin decided to roll out Chicken Joes products to many of their other sites including Legoland, Thorpe Park and Warwick Castle.
It was time to fill another gap in the market so Chicken Joe's introduced a Halal line adhering to Islamic law in response to a number of customer requests.
Chicken Joes offered our customers a new way of maintaining portion control and keeping preparation times to minimum by creating ready prepared chicken skewers. Skewers also became a very popular choice for our staff summer barbeques!
Once again we had outgrown our factory. Joe bought a new 34,000 sq. feet site to accommodate the ever-increasing product portfolio, sales and growing number of employees. The extra space allowed us to build new frozen storage facilities allowing us to supply quality frozen products to fill a gap in the market and help our customers compete with the high street.
Our customers were growing and so our flavours needed to grow too. We hired our first Product Developer and created 5 new flavours- BBQ, Hot & Spicy, Chinese, Piri Piri and Jerk.
Jamie Oliver started the food revolution of healthy eating in schools. With this new attitude towards nutritional eating Joe saw an opportunity to sell his chicken. His second product line of marinated, pre-sliced chicken thigh that could be oven cooked and served from any kitchen was launched. We went on to win our first contract caterer, Compass, one of the largest contract caterers in the UK!
We teamed up with Santa Maria (formerly known as Discovery Foods) to launch tortilla wraps to promote the diversity of serving our chicken. To this day we maintain a strong relationship with Santa Maria with their wraps and our chicken going hand in hand to make the perfect combination.
With Chicken Joes now producing a whopping 10 tonne of chicken a week, the catering industry began to recognise that Chicken Joes was fast becoming one of the top quality food service suppliers in the country.
To accommodate our growing customer base, we bought 5 new state of the art refrigerated vehicles to deliver our chicken to newly acquired customers.
After seeing us at an exhibition, Alton Towers Resort became our first customer in a new sector. They started selling chicken kebab in Courtyard Tavern. 19 years later and with over 2 million visitors a year, Alton Towers Resort are selling more than 20 of our delicious products in 7 of their restaurants including the UK's first Rollercoaster Restaurant.
Blending the spices to our own secret recipe we had perfected our marinades. Both Authentic and delicious!
With the growing interest and sales, we outgrew our first factory after just two years. We moved to a larger premise in Burntwood, Staffordshire and recruited another 20 members of staff.
We teamed up with Double A Kebabs to give our customers the option to purchase doner. Now that we were selling frozen doner we purchased our first dual compartment van to allow us to deliver both fresh and frozen products. Joe also started providing kebab machines to aid shops to sell his produce.
Joe and Doulla had gained enough business to move into a small factory unit in Chasetown, Staffordshire where Tikka and Tandoori were added to form a range. As our range of flavours grew so did our team. We hired drivers, office and production staff.
Joe's boss gave him an ultimatum- to leave and follow his dreams or give up and stay working in the shop. With £50 in his pocket Joe took the risk, stopped working in the chip shop and took a loan from his mum to focus on creating a business.
"Chicken Joe's" was born in the back of their garage with a hand held vacuum packer and a tub to marinade the chicken. They bought a second hand ice cream van and delivered to their very first customer Upton Chip Shop in Worcester. They are still a loyal customer to this day!
As orders started to grow, the need for staff became apparent. Sue, who used to also work at the Chip Shop along with Phil and Jane, joined the team. They are still valuable members of the team.
The beginning. While working in a chip shop Joe's wife Doulla challenged Joe to concoct something healthy that she and her dieting friends could enjoy. Joe never being able to resist a challenge marinated whole chicken thigh in Mediterranean herbs in a tub in his garage. It was such a hit that he was encouraged to sell it in the chip shop as a healthy alternative to doner kebab. Takings soared and other chip shop owners began to ask where they could purchase the chicken.