Catering industry suppliers merge
A new gourmet food operation has been created by the merger of two East Anglian catering industry suppliers.Hockering-based Country Fresh Produce has joined forces with Sustead's Good Food Cellar to offer chefs at pubs, restaurants and hotels a broad range of staple ingredients and specialist cheeses, meats, oils and olives from regional and European producers.
A new gourmet food operation has been created by the merger of two East Anglian catering industry suppliers.
Hockering-based Country Fresh Produce has joined forces with Sustead's Good Food Cellar to offer chefs at pubs, restaurants and hotels a broad range of staple ingredients and specialist cheeses, meats, oils and olives from regional and European producers.
Country Fresh has evolved from a greengrocer's shop in Norwich in the 1970s to a �6m a year business with 50 staff supplying fruit and vegetables to public and private sector bodies across the UK.
The Good Food Cellar was founded 20 years ago by David and Sarah Walker, has sales of about �700,000 a year, three staff, and already boasts some of East Anglia's finest restaurants among its clients.
Country Fresh managing director James Gunns said: "The addition of the Good Food Cellar brings us invaluable expertise in specialist local foods as well as those from the Mediterranean countries and beyond.
"David and Sarah's knowledge of food suppliers locally and throughout Europe has been a key part of the Good Food Cellar success.
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"Their product knowledge is second to none and they have developed a loyal and enthusiastic customer base over some 20 years.
"I am delighted our combined skills will now be put to use delivering exciting new product opportunities and even greater levels of service to all those customers and many more."
Mr Walker added: "Being on board Country Fresh takes us to the next level. We've been keen for some time now to find the right partners - people as dedicated as we have been to sourcing and supplying top quality local and international foods for the region's caterers and retailers. With their ultra-modern distribution infrastructure, British Retail Consortium accreditation, state-of-the-art IT
and stock control systems and modern warehousing, this venture with Country Fresh is a very comfortable stepping stone for both parties.
'From our personal point of view, it will give Sarah and I far more time to work with customers on their current needs and ideas for the future, as well as research the ever-growing opportunities among local growers and producers."