In 1995 a fire devastated Pride Valley Foods’ factory in County Durham a week after completing a 50,000 sq. ft extension. Everyone, including his banker, told Iranian immigrant founder Hosein Rezaei, an ex-kebab house proprietor, to throw in the towel. Instead, he turned over all but one of his customers, Tesco, to his competitors. He retained every skilled employee, and moved back to his original premises in Gateshead. Within six months, every customer, save one, had returned. Today the £8m manufacturer of specialty flatbreads – and 40 other types of bread — is back in County Durham. Pride Valley has created 155 jobs in the former mining community with the help of regional finance packages and venture capital from 3i. The company also has local business angel backing from the founder of Phileas Fogg snack foods. In 1998, Pride Valley became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlas (UK) Ltd.
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