13 February 2013 16:08
Making 65kg of sausages for the North West's biggest food festival did not faze Paul Hodges.

The sole trader of the start up business The Grand Old Duke of Pork, Paul drafted in some friends from university to help out at the Liverpool Food Festival – and they sold out of produce.

His business offers bespoke sausages produced from over 50 ingredients, all locally sourced, and customers can ask for whatever they want.

“The most unusual request was for pineapple, bacon and Jack Daniels but I will do whatever ingredients people suggest.”

This emphasis on personalised service earned Paul 28th place in the Smarta 100 competition aimed at highlighting “the most resourceful, original, exciting and disruptive small businesses in the UK" where he was chosen by business owners and TV personalities such as Deborah Meaden of Dragons’ Den and Theo Paphitis.

He was also awarded the title of Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year in the Lancaster University Student Enterprise Awards 2012.

“It’s good to get the recognition. I always wanted to set up my own business and I love it. This all came about through a love of food, especially sausages, and the love of the new, the exciting and the chance to call something your own.”

He had the idea while he was a final year student on the BA in Management and Entrepreneurship at Lancaster University Management School, and he set up the business with a £1,000 grant provided from the Proof of Concept Fund in association with Lancashire County Developments Ltd. He also received mentoring support provided through the Northwest Enterprise Champion project, part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.