Snow no problem for wholesalers: Sector triumphs in face of adversity

Filshill director Nick Hannah out delivering for the wholesaler in the snow

Wholesalers across the UK overcame challenging conditions presented by the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ to go above and beyond for their customers.

Staff at foodservice wholesaler Country Fare, which delivers local produce to a wide variety of clients including hospitals, schools and nursing homes in Dorset and Hampshire, braved last week’s snowy conditions to distribute more than two tonnes of deliveries to customers most in need.

Tim Whyatt, marketing manager at the Landmark Wholesale member, explained how the team pulled together to make sure its high-priority customers were not left out in the cold: “Customer service is our top priority at Country Fare, and we knew that some of our clients might not be able to feed their customers if we could not deliver their goods,” he said. “So we worked closely with Dorset Police to assess road conditions and identify those customers most in need and hospitals, nursing homes, boarding schools and hotels were put to the top of the list.

“While we were keen to maintain the high-quality service our customers know to expect, we were also conscious of the safety of our team so our most experienced drivers volunteered to brave the snow in 4×4 vehicles, with a small team staying behind at the office to ensure our clients were kept up to date with progress with hourly updates. As a result, our high-priority customers all received their deliveries. It was a real team effort, with everyone demonstrating the can-do attitude that Country Fare prides itself on. One of our directors even got up at 2am to make bacon sandwiches to keep everyone going.”

The Country Fare team

One client had more than 200 hotel guests at the Queens Hotel in Bournemouth to feed with limited stock, but was saved when Country Fare director Gavin Millward arrived with their delivery.

Other directors who went above and beyond the call of duty to get their customers the goods they needed were Filshill directors Nick and Simon Hannah.

Both brothers helped out with the delivery runs for the Glasgow-based Today’s Group member as Scotland was hit by the snow.

Another company that went the extra mile for its wholesalers was Cheltenham-based Creed Foodservice, one of whose drivers even braved the conditions – where temperates plummeted to well below freezing – to do his shift in a pair of shorts.

Further up north, Country Range Group member Caterite Foodservice captured the conditions its staff faced upon arriving to work:

Nevertheless, the business strived to ensure that deliveries were made and customers had what they needed.

Foodservice wholesaler Bidfood thanked its staff for their help during the disruptive conditions:

North-east-based Epicurium Wholesale, meanwhile, made sure it took full advantage of social media to keep its customers in the loop:

And two employees at Sterling Super Group member J & R Food Service in Exeter made light of the weather to announce news of their engagement:

Did your staff go above and beyond to deliver during the snow? Tweet us your stories and pictures to the Better Wholesaling Twitter account.

Martyn Fisher
Martyn Fisher is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. Martyn can be found on Twitter on @BW_Martyn, or can be contacted via and 020 3871 6490.