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Co-founder takes the helm at packaging manufacturer

Written by Peter Davison on .

Jo Stephens-CosfordJo Stephens-CosfordJo Stephens-Cosford will be taking the helm at specialist gift and product packaging manufacturer Shredhouse, the company she founded with her ex-husband Phil Stephens, who is retiring from the role of MD after 23 years.

Phil and Jo launched Shredhouse in a small business unit in Watlington, Oxfordshire in 1995. Business growth led them to look for new premises and the company moved to the purpose-built manufacturing plant and warehouse on the Salisbury Road Business Park in Pewsey in 2004.

Shredhouse is the only UK-based manufacturer of shredded paper for the gift packaging market. They specialise in supplying the gift market, with customers including multi-national beauty brands and high street retailers. As well as big brands, they also supply artisans across a range of market sectors including health, food and drink, crafts, toys and gift hampers.

The company now employs a core team of full-time local staff and additional temporary contract staff in the peak production period when fulfilling Christmas orders. Specialist machinery is needed to produce the packaging materials to the high quality demanded by their clients.

During his time at the company, Phil has overseen several significant developments. In 2014, Shredhouse became the first Wiltshire business to receive a Rural Economy Grant, funded by the European Union. They received funds towards the cost of expanding their Pewsey premises by 4,000 sq. feet to increase production because of sustained business growth.

Together, Phil and Jo also launched the company’s e-commerce business www.giftpackaging.co.uk designed for businesses or artisans with smaller volume packaging requirements. This website and the main Shredhouse website have recently been updated by local Wiltshire businesses.

“The strong client base and reputation for reliability and excellent customer service that Phil and I have developed with the team, puts the company in a strong position for the future. But it is a competitive market and we are always looking to innovate and improve our processes and products,” said Jo.

“We are proud of our quality standards and our environmentally friendly products; and we will develop our eco-friendly range further. With fast-food type coffee cup use and recycling much in the news, we have recently launched a shredded paper made from the waste material of disposable coffee cup production.”

“We are continually innovating our existing product range and are working towards the BRC accreditation for food grade packaging, to ensure we meet the standards demanded by the market.”