Regional Wholesaler of the Year

Absolutely thrilled to be named ‘Regional Wholesaler of the Year’ at The Grocer Gold Awards.

Writing about Castell Howell, The Grocer said ”It was all going so well. This family-run foodservice wholesaler, a committed champion of Welsh produce, was delivering impressive and consistent growth pre-Covid. Turnover for the year ending 31 October 2019 stood at £138m, up from £126m the previous year and £115m in 2017.

In short, it’s been “a really well-run business for a number of years: smart, progressive, passionate and caring”, said the judges.

And then the pandemic struck. Like all foodservice companies, it’s proved a huge challenge, with the majority of its customers shuttered. An estimated 150 redundancies have been made across its 800-strong team.

But Castell Howell has continued to support its community, most recently demonstrated by a partnership with local councils to deliver food boxes during the pandemic. And it helped manufacture gloves and aprons for health and care workers for the NHS and local councils.

This community spirit has been at the heart of its success over many years. Not only through its passionate and progressive support for Welsh produce but in terms of its committed sustainability efforts, and regular donations to FareShare and the Salvation Army.

Castell Howell’s warmth as a business has also shone through in its community engagement on social media.

Crucially, Castell Howell has also ploughed investment into growing its sales in hospitals and schools. As a result, sales into the public sector rose by 30% in 2019.

That arm of the business has proved particularly important during the national and local lockdowns, as Castell Howell’s 6,000-strong core customer base of hospitality venues including restaurants, bars, pubs and cafés shut their doors.

It’s also adapted, pivoting towards take-home sales. Online technology investment has been invaluable too. Launched in 2017, the app accounted for 36% of all sales in 2019, a trend that has continued in the pandemic.

The final tranche of investment went into a new cross-stock depot for 12 vehicles, which has grown its geographical customer base.

Let’s hope this focus on availability proves another wise investment in 2020 and beyond.”

For the full article click here

Thank you so very much to everyone for their continued support and congratulations to all award winners and finalists

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