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The origins of Cofresh lie way back in early 1960's Kenya, when Dinesh Patel founded a business in Nairobi to make potato crisps and popcorn for local cinemas, retail outlets, colleges and schools.
By 1974 it was 'all change' when the threatening political situation drove Dinesh and wife Savita to take the huge decision to emigrate to the UK where, typically, he lost no time in reviving his business and passion for making snacks.
On arrival in England they spent their life savings on a fish and chip shop in Leicester. Dineshbhai used the frying facilities he needed to create and perfect his ideal Indian snacks, usually in the dead of night.
So, working all hours, Dinesh and Savita kept the Cofresh dream alive. Starting with the manufacture of traditional, hand-made spicy peanuts and green peas to supply to the local Asian working men's clubs, retail shops and pubs.
Thanks to their tireless efforts, and a healthy demand for authentic Asian snacks, the business flourished. Soon joined by his brothers, Dinesh extended their range of products and they started to distribute all over the country.
The family connection was further strengthened when, in 1997, Dinesh's sons also came on board. More expansion followed and, today, Cofresh snacks can be found in most Asian grocery outlets and major supermarkets throughout the UK and internationally.
In 2006 the family's new, multi-million pound manufacturing plant in Leicester was inaugurated by the Duke of York and HRH Prince Andrew.
And, from here, Cofresh now makes more than 200 innovative, high quality products - all 'vegetarian', some additionally gluten-free or Kosher - ranging from traditional Indian snacks and flavoured potato, hummus and lentil crisps, to 'all-natural' cereal bars. They are eaten by over 1.5 million consumers every week in the UK alone, with world-wide demand increasing fast.
So driven by a powerful vision and supported by a fantastic family ethic (not to mention royalty), Dinesh has brought Cofresh an awfully long way from Nairobi (via the fish and chip shop). And amazingly – despite being over 70 – he's still a major player in the organisation and as enthusiastic and passionate as ever. Although well past retirement, he enjoys coming to the factory every day and can frequently be seen helping the ladies on the packing lines!
The business is expanding further with a new 140k sq ft production facility set to open in the heart of Leicester in August 2015 to increase production and distribution of products under the Cofresh brand and also the new Healthier Snacking brand ' Eat Real'.
Cofresh is today Officially Britain's Favourite Indian Snack Brand in the UK.