Interview: Parkview Provisions

Paul Hill speaks to Confex-member Parkview Provisions managing director Martin White, and sales and procurement director Leeann White, from the company’s fast-growing headquarters in Newry

PH: Tell us about the business

MW & LW: We are a foodservice provider delivering fresh, frozen, ambient and non-food products, with 40% of our turnover coming from mini supermarkets/deli counters. Over the past couple of years we’ve introduced a new management team to allow the pair of us to stay in the background and focus on implementing our company’s growth strategy of expanding our geographical reach as well as product range. This consists of a general operations manager, a telesales and office manager, as well as an accounts manager.

Where are your customers based?

We operate within a 45-mile radius from our depot in Newry within Northern Ireland and go as far south as Drogheda in the Republic of Ireland. This means that we touch Belfast with a couple of big drops, but our main areas of focus are Newry, Portadown, Dundalk and Lisburn.

Do you have plans to expand further south of the border?

Obviously south of the border offers a lot more opportunity for growth as it’s four-to-five times bigger, but the Northern Ireland protocol makes it a lot more challenging.

Getting products over from Great Britain is also proving costly these days. For example, we were recently looking into importing a dairy product because it was £2 a block cheaper over there. However, once we factored in delivery and vetting, it came out as 80p more expensive, which is a £2.80 switch.

On top of this, not having an active government doesn’t help the situation [there wasn’t an active government at the time of interview], but there is nothing we can do about it, so we continue to trade on both sides of the border.

What part do convenience stores play in your business as a foodservice wholesaler?

A large market for us is the deli bars within convenience stores, which are unique to Northern Ireland compared to the rest of the UK. These act as mini supermarkets and delis, and even have chefs working in them. A lot of chefs we partner with moved over to these types of outlets from restaurants in Covid-19 and haven’t gone back because it’s a better lifestyle for them working nine-to-five in a store rather than the unsociable hours of restaurants. You find foodservice and convenience wholesalers each supply different sections of these types of stores.

How has the business been performing financially?

We have grown significantly over the past few years. Turnover was £14m last year, and we have a target of £15.5m this year, but it looks like we’ll be hitting around £16m for the 12 months ending in May. Since we’ve extended our facilities by 5,000sq ft and expanded our warehouse capabilities, we’re targeting 10%-15% growth annually. A new roof extension was put in two years ago and the warehouse extension took place in 2022, taking the overall size to 13,000 sq ft. This gives us a lot more ambient space.

Our next challenge will be to extend our frozen space, and that might be at another location in Newry. With the money we’ve spent, we’re now seeing the benefits and our next move is to introduce night picking, which we get additional staff in for 6pm-to-2am shift work.

What are your long-term targets?

Our next major target is to get to £20m turnover by 2025/2026 and we plan to double the sales team on the road. We’re looking to add to the orders of customers we already have rather than just getting completely new business.

What are the biggest challenges the industry faces?

Huge price increases have affected us, so the focus needs to be getting prices down and convincing suppliers to reduce them. Petrol, electric and so on have all slightly improved since their peak. I like to think we’ve gone through the worst period in the sector’s history and things will get better.

So, 2024 is about working with our suppliers to get prices down. We didn’t increase our prices when everything was going up last year, which brought us a lot of loyalty. This is also one of the reasons why we extended our warehouse as it allowed us to stockpile more products.


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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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