• HM Gov
  • BIG
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Funding for business development projects in Cornwall
  • HM Gov
  • BIG
  • CDC
  • EURF
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Funding for busines development projects in Cornwall

BIG backs The Cornish Italian

Grant for new blast freezer is 'game changer' for Ugo's business

The Cornish Italian is famous nationwide for its delicious desserts - authentic, homemade tiramisu.

Now, the homegrown firm can reach even more of its growing legion of pudding fans, thanks to a very chilled addition to the team.

Cornish Italian founder Ugo Massabo applied to Big Productivity for a £5,657 grant to buy a new, state of the art blast freezer.

The impressive piece of kit – which can freeze products down to -40C in just 30 minutes – means Ugo can batch cook his Italian tiramisu desserts, made with Cornish ingredients, before storing them safely and shipping them out to his loyal customers.

“It’s a game changer,” said Ugo, who approached BIG Productivity after realising he needed to find a way to produce and store more stock. “We were looking to buy a blast freezer which is a very expensive machine and we couldn’t have done it without them so BIG Productivity was essential to the future of the business,” he added.

The Cornish Italian started life in 2018 when Ugo lost his job in the theatre industry. He began making his authentic Italian tiramisu desserts, using his father’s family recipe.

They soon evolved into Ugo’s own award-winning, signature puddings, called TiramisUGO, made and served in glass jars, ready to be enjoyed straight from the fridge.

Ugo’s unique desserts use the finest Italian ingredients and Cornish eggs from St Ewe, near Truro.

“The Cornish Italian is the story of a business based in Cornwall but born in Italy,” says Ugo, who works in his kitchen, based in St Erme, Truro. “Our mission is to create amazing tiramisu and offer them to farm shops and delivery to doorsteps in the UK.”

Ugo said being able to buy a new blast freezer – one of the best on the market – has taken his business to the next level.

“We’re actually competitive, we can potentially introduce new products and we’ve got much more flexibility when we approach a new customer,” he said. “Flexibility and change are what customers want and you’ve got to be able to offer that. This is what is fundamental.”

Ugo had been working closely with Access to Finance and the team there encouraged him to approach BIG Productivity for a grant.

“I would definitely recommend BIG Productivity to start ups but also to start-ups who have already got to a level where they need support to scale,” he said.

“The process was very straightforward,” said Ugo “Big Productivity is definitely the way to go. It was essential to the future of the business.”

BIG Productivity programme manager Lyn Newby said: “The Cornish Italian is a great example of a small Cornish business with big ambitions and a clear path to growth. We are delighted to be supporting Ugo with this investment and look forward to seeing The Cornish Italian go from strength to strength.”

You can watch a video about The Cornish Italian here.

Find out more and apply for BIG2 funding by clicking here: APPLY HERE