Canterbury Biltong Ltd is the latest local company to purchase a site at Portlink Park to enable the business to meet the needs of both its staff and its growing customer base. The company, which makes and sells air-dried beef products, has plans to build a new factory and offices, with a total floor area of 500m2. Owner/Director David Stanley says he is really looking forward to having new, purpose-built premises, with the option to add an additional 400m2 at a later date to cater for future expansion if required.
David says that once it became apparent that Canterbury Biltong Ltd was starting to outgrow its current base in Phillipstown, his original intention was to find existing premises to move into as soon as possible. “However, there was always an issue with existing premises we looked at – either they were not up to code, there wasn’t enough parking or they would be too difficult to get up to a food-grade standard”, says David. “After looking for 7 or 8 months, we decided that we would be better off to build our own building, so we managed to reorganise and find enough space in our existing factory to take us through until our build is completed”.
David says that he loves the openness of the Portlink site, with its great views of the hills. From a practical point of view it is very close to the family home in Heathcote Valley, as well as close to the company’s suppliers and the city. Strategically, Portlink offers easy access to the main arterial routes for distribution of product around the South Island and beyond. Meanwhile, the Port of Lyttelton is literally just through the tunnel, offering maximum convenience for exporting goods.
The new premises will be a big leap from the company’s origins in 2003, when David started making traditional South African beef snacks in his garden shed.David says that back then biltong was largely unheard of in New Zealand and David and his wife spent a lot of time introducing consumers to the product at local markets, A & P shows and other events.
Now, 13 years later, the company has grown to employ 11 staff and its products are stocked by both of New Zealand’s major supermarket chains, as well as service stations and many other retail outlets. Canterbury Biltong also exports its products to Australia.
David attributes the company’s success to having a great product that travels well and tastes good. “There is a lot more awareness of healthy eating now, and our product ticks all of the boxes as it contains no preservatives, is low in sugar and is gluten-free”, says David.