Interview: Cyprofood

Paul Hill speaks to the director of Cyprofood and chairman of Masca Holdings Cetin Agcagul

PH: Tell us about the origin of the business

CA: We are a north London-based wholesaler that has been operating as a fresh produce distributor since 2007 in Tottenham. In that time, we have expanded our category and product range considerably. We are constantly working on developing our products and expanding to supply and satisfy other sectors.

We were one of the first wholesale companies in the UK to man a 24/7 operation since our formation, which makes us flexible for customers and suppliers. One of our main priorities is the quality of the products we import.

What is the structure of the company and your growth plans?

Cyprofood falls under the parent company Masca Holdings, of which I am chairman. We now have 10 individual companies under this. As well as operating in industries such as property development and construction, we also have one company that solely does food distribution for wholesalers and retailers, with a focus on ethnic and Mediterranean foods.

Furthermore, Masca has another business named Noble Premium that focuses on Eastern and Central European products. We also recently did a soft launch in a facility next door to Cyprofood for another business called Hepsy that will wholesale china, glassware and cleaning materials. These firms are proof that we are constantly re-engineering and evolving our operations depending on the market and our customers’ requests.

How have you grown?

We have grown in double digits each year since our formation, and did it through knowing the retail industry and where the value was. We were also one of the first companies that started the day shift for fruit and vegetable wholesale, which brought customer loyalty. People used to go to the wholesale markets at night and leave their homes to get their fruit and veg for the next day of business. We instead created a 24/7 operation for our customers, which made it a lot easier for them when purchasing their goods, especially in markets such as fruit and veg.

Where do you get your products from?

Fruit and veg is still a big area for us, but we now do frozen, tobacco and ambient to name just a few. There is no limit to what we sell now and have expanded to not just serve retailers, but foodservice outlets as well.

Our customers tend to dictate what new products or categories we focus on, and we are always adding to our portfolio to aid our customers. I would say we are now 50% foodservice and 50% convenience, but we don’t neglect either depending on if the other is bringing more profit in.

We also have customers from all over the UK and have facilities that serve the entire UK. To achieve this, we use third-party logistics firms to help with that. For example, the furthest we distribute to is Belfast and Dundee.

Read more: Cyprofood and Hardy Brothers join Sugro

What are the expansion plans for the business?

We have moved three times and expanded our current location into an old Bestway depot next door to our current one. The next stage of our evolution is to expand into west London in a move to the Park Royal area. We’re currently working on this, and these things don’t happen overnight, but we plan to be become a national company with 10 branches of Cyprofood across the UK within five-to-eight years. We also have a growth target for Masca Holdings of £300m by 2025, with Cyprofood contributing £100m to this.

As far as symbol groups are concerned, we don’t have any plans to create one. We want to create value for the retailer, not become one ourselves.

Why did you recently join the buying group Sugro?

We wanted to increase our buying power, and Sugro has been vital in our research and buying directly from suppliers. With the help of the business development team, we are now able to gain competitive prices from suppliers due to their power and strength in the market.

What is your USP?

Our USP is to provide what our customers want. If we don’t have it, it’s because we’ve not been asked for it yet. We’re always listening to our customers. The hardest thing in this industry is to manage and maintain fresh produce, and we are very good at that and I don’t see any other company that can do it like we do. I like to think we are creating a new channel by selling whatever our customers ask for.


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Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. He can be found on Twitter at @BW_PaulHill, or contacted via and 07960935659.



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