Paul Hill talks wholesale with a coffee shop/record store owner
Which wholesalers do you use and why do you use them?
I mainly use my local Booker depot in Paignton. This is mainly due to their vast range of stock and it being accessible to me. However, I also use two local wholesalers in Caterfoods and RD Johns on occasions. We sometimes open for evening events and they provide great local products.
Do you get your orders by visiting the cash and carry or having them delivered?
We get our pies delivered by Pieminster’s wholesale arm and coffee beans from Clifton Coffee Roaster – both of them are based in Bristol. But with my general stock, I’m having to collect at the moment from Booker.
How can wholesalers improve the online ordering experience?
As I’m only buying small amounts and required to be in the café most of the time, it would be much easier if Booker lowered their minimum payment amount down from £100.
How can wholesalers improve the cash-and-carry experience?
I feel that VAT should be added to the total when shopping in the depot, this would allow you, as a customer, to fully understand the total from the start.
What in-depot activity is likely to capture your attention and get you to purchase promotional items?
My requirements are quite niche and I’m only really looking out for offers on specific products. It would be great if there was an option for me to sign up to certain categories on the Booker app, which I could then be notified about when the offers come in.
What categories would you like to see wholesalers improve in?
The cost of alcohol is very high and needs to be balanced for smaller businesses, as we only buy large amounts when we put on evening events.
How would you rate the wholesale sector when it comes to responding to trends?
They could be faster in responding to emerging products and food concepts, but I understand it could be deemed a risk if a trend doesn’t take off and they’ve overstocked.
What food trends do you predict will grow this year?
There is huge scope for CBD and hemp products in cafés and coffee shops, if the legalities were changed in the UK.
I recently spoke to business owners similar to mine from the US and they said how it has transformed their product offerings.
Other than that, I feel as though customers are far more health conscious than before and this is reflected in their dietary choices.