Revolutionary pet products company Omlet Ltd has invested about £1.5 million on expanding to Lincoln and creating new jobs.
Lincoln-based chartered surveyor Banks Long & Co today revealed it has sold the former Lincolnshire Co-op warehouse on Whisby Road, to the Oxfordshire-headquartered business.
Omlet, which has customers worldwide, is excited about its move and has transformed the building into a Fulfillment Centre – but Director Johannes Paul revealed there’s a quirky story behind its investment in Lincoln.
“Demand for our products is increasing on the continent, so we started to look for a European warehouse. A colleague began searching the Internet, and started typing in “Rotterdam”, but Google’s autofill finished off “Rot” as “Rotherham” and without realising it he hit search!
“That led us to explore what was available in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire areas and we had the good fortune to spot the Lincoln warehouse. As soon as we saw it, we knew it was perfect for our needs,” said Johannes.
Omlet – which was lauched in 2003 by four friends who met at London’s Royal College of Art – has initially created six new jobs in Lincoln, but there could be seasonal opportunities in the future.
The company has 50 other employees – including staff based at Wardington (Oxfordshire) where Omlet has its sales, marketing, procurement, finance and customer services departments and others at distribution centres on the East and West coasts of America and in New Zealand, Canada and Australia.
Omlet has invested almost £1.5m in the Lincoln site, including configuring the warehouse and creating goods inward, storage, packing, despatch, office and staff facilities. It became operational this week.
Omlet is best known for its original invention – a trendy hen coop – known as the Eglu. That product, together with others in the Eglu range, have made it the biggest producer of modern hen houses in the world.
“We came-up with the Eglu at a time when people started to seriously question the provenance of their food and many familiies chose to keep their own chickens and collect their own eggs,” said Johannes.
Since those early days, Omlet has designed and marketed a wide collection of products to house everything from dogs to hamsters, rabbits and even bees. A new product can typically take two to three years to design, prototype and bring to the market.
The company continually consults with vets, animal behaviourists and other experts in the field, to ensure their designs are not only eyecatching, but 100 per cent functional.
“We want to continue offering the best products possible, at best value prices and we believe our expansion to Lincoln will help us with that,” said Johannes.
“Lincoln is an attractive and growing city and it gives us ready access to a varied employment base, including students, when we need to take on seasonal workers. Our new centre manager is Stephen Newborough.”
Banks Long & Co Director William Wall said: “We were delighted when Omlet’s search led the company to Lincoln. The 28,280 sq ft warehouse, sits on 1.59 acres and offers the company plenty of space for its storage needs. It is also in the ideal location for easy access to the A46, A1 and the wider East Midlands. We wish the company the very best for the future.”