Thomas Ridley was ‘preparing for the worst’ at the start of pandemic

Thomas Ridley Foodservice e-commerce Director Darren Osborn admits that the wholesaler was preparing for the worst following the closure of schools, cafes and restaurants in March, before the company managed to reinvent its e-commerce framework.

“We had to think quickly as to how we could continue to operate during the lockdown,” he explained. “After a day or two, we started to see a substantial uplift in our web traffic, sales of bread mix increasing in demand and new customers joining us who were obviously family households.”

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Osbourn described how over the course of 2020, the wholesaler has had weeks where it’s had to process over 90,000 orders and sold 12,000 bags of bread flour. “Our foodservice customers have also been ordering lots of takeaway packaging, showing just how adaptable their businesses have been during this time.”

Well known as a key wholesaler to the foodservice industry, the Covid-19 pandemic saw  a 340% increase in website visitors and 1500% increase in digital guest sales due to the aforementioned household and taker away outlet orders.

“As a family run business, we have operated with incredible agility to ensure that we protect the jobs of our employees as well as taking advantage of the new opportunities over the last few months.  It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride, with huge ups and downs every day, and new challenges thrown at us. We’ve all pulled together as an amazing team to ensure we provide our customers, old and new, with the best possible products and service,” he concluded.

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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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