Thomas Ridley offers local and regional food producers route into foodservice sector

Thomas Ridley Foodservice plans to offer local and regioinal food producers in East Anglia a route i

Thomas Ridley Foodservice plans to offer local and regioinal food producers in East Anglia a route into the catering sector. - Credit: Archant

An East Anglia-based catering supplier is aiming to champion local and regional brands within the foodservice sector.

Thomas Ridley Foodservice, based at Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, last year acquired Elevden Fine Food, the local food distribution business which was formerly part of the Earl of Iveagh’s Elveden Farms business, based on the Elevden Estate on the Suffolk-Norfolk border near Thetford.

The deal also included the Tastes of Anglia trading business, the largest wholesaler of local and regional food in East Anglia, which became part of the Elveden business in 2013.

Initially, Thomas Ridley focused on integrating the existing client base of the former Elveden business within the retail sector.

But with this now having been achieved, and with retail turnover growing steadily, it now plans to start offering the local and regional product range to the foodservice sector too.

Rachel Summers, director, said: “The sales team has been eager to ‘get their hands on’ the local and regional product range to present it to our foodservice customers.

“We decided to delay the launch to the foodservice sector until we had rigorously tested our supply chain to ensure we don’t compromise our outstanding customer service to retailers. Having proven to retailers that they can benefit from our extensive distribution network and effective route planning, giving them certainty of a weekly delivery service, we are now ready to champion these local and regional brands throughout the foodservice sector in the East and South East.”

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The buying and marketing teams at Thomas Ridley are keen to unearth more innovative products from the region.

“We are committed to providing quality ingredients and new products to respond to market trends, sourcing from a network of ethical suppliers,” added Rachel Summers.

“The buying and marketing teams, together with representatives from the sales team, meet to sample and taste test new product lines, we collectively agree which products are to be listed and plan the route to market.”