Wholesaler Spotlight: Lomond – The Wholesale Food Co

Paul Hill caught up with Lomond director Barbara Henderson at the company’s headquarters in Glasgow

BWI: Talk us through the history and formation of the business

BH: Formed in 1997, we are a foodservice wholesaler delivering ambient, chilled and frozen goods all over Scotland, providing a wide range of high-quality products for all types of caterers.

Taking great pride in being a Scotland-based company, we source many products from local producers and businesses, giving us the freshest produce possible.

We moved to our current headquarters in 2015, and it was then we devised a five-year growth plan, including the aim of acquiring another company, which we did in 2015 with the purchase of Hall’s Direct.

This allowed us to bring together both companies’ existing customer bases and for us to diversify into the retail sector.

This means our customer base now ranges from education, garden centres, hotels and restaurants, to food-to-go outlets, NHS hospitals and convenience stores.

We serve around 2,500 customers in total and target any outlet where food is served.

What are your growth plans? 

The lowest our customer base went down to during the lockdowns was 45% and then back up to 75% after four months. This is because we benefited from our local sourcing offering that not all our competitors could do.

Cut to December 2022, and our turnover was £29m, and we’re on track to do £34-35m by the end of this year.

We’re also getting to the point where we’ve outgrown out current depot and running out of space. This is why we’ve now got planning permission to extend it further and begin a new five-year plan where we plan to double our storage capabilities, and turnover.

We think we’ll be capable of putting £70-75m through this site once it’s been extended. Building work has gone out to tender and we hope for it to start by June 2023, and realistically we’re aiming for it to be complete in the first quarter of next year.

Read more: Lomond produces locally sourced sustainable menu for COP26

What are the latest developments at Lomond? 

Earlier this year, we launched a sustainability advice product brochure where we offered serving suggestions to make the most of surplus food and leftovers.

The brochure reflects our focus on reducing food miles and it allows customers looking to stock Scottish produce to easily identify them in the brochure with a dedicated icon.

Our commitment to being green was reflected in our award for Green Wholesaler of the Year at the 2023 Scottish Wholesale Association Achiever Awards.

In October last year, we also launched our own-label cooked meats range following demand from our customers for locally sourced, top-quality products.

The new range replaced our previous supplier, took half a year to create and reflects our strategy to deliver top-quality locally sourced products.

Furthermore, we achieved record levels of attendance at our first person-to-person trade show since the onset of the pandemic last year. It was held across two marquees at our Glasgow depot with a dedicated area of the show for locally sourced products – something that we are very passionate about. This year, we are taking it one step further and holding it in the Glasgow SEC in May 2023.

Lastly, we were honoured to be approached by Compass Scotland to produce a locally sourced, low-carbon, sustainable menu for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which took place at the SEC in Glasgow in 2021.

The menu required 80% of the products provided, and their ingredients, to be Scottish, with the potential for the remaining 15% to be provided from the wider UK and 5% from the rest of the world. To meet the requirements for the menu, we sourced more than 300 products from more than 60 Scottish suppliers.

To meet the menu criteria, many of the products had to be developed from scratch, a process that took months.

Avatar photo
Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. He can be found on Twitter at @BW_PaulHill, or contacted via paul.hill@newtrade.co.uk and 07960935659.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.