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EMC helps feed Woods Foodservice’s growth

EMC's Terry Rainback and Wood's MD Darren Labbett outside the new premises.
4th Dec

EMC client Woods Foodservice has seen four years of consecutive growth to become one of the UK’s fastest growing and most highly respected independent foodservice suppliers, winning the coveted Chefs’ Choice and Readers’ Choice awards every year since 2015.  The company has more than doubled sales during this period, making planning for and feeding that growth vital.

Woods Foodservice supplies ingredients to restaurants, hotels, pubs and bars in Central London and within the M25 and boasts many of London’s Michelin star chefs as customers. Its unrivalled customer care, seven days a week delivery service and online ordering system are just a few of the services that set it apart.

Years of experience, along with a product range and service levels that have been designed specifically for the top end of the catering industry, have all helped to strengthen Woods’ growing reputation as the premier supplier in this sector.

Needing more space was the first pressure point and in 2016 Woods moved from its longstanding Southall base to a brand new 27,000 square foot warehouse in Uxbridge with a bespoke fit-out of offices, chillers, freezers and racked storage and ample space to accommodate its continuing expansion plans. These include the commissioning of a massive new freezer unit to double capacity in time for the 2018 Christmas season.

A finishing touch that reflects the Woods commitment to supporting its clients and suppliers was the installation of a demo kitchen fitted out to allow regular product demonstrations and training to be undertaken.   The Woods prestige van fleet also doubled in size over this time and received a complete livery makeover to help highlight and showcase Woods’ high quality deliveries across Greater London.

Not content with achieving all that, MD Darren Labbett raised the bar higher still and Woods has successfully achieved the highest level of BRC industry accreditation and installed new Business Information systems across the company to support further growth and maintain these high standards. Recruiting, building and supporting the right team are all part of Darren’s philosophy and having the right people contributes massively to the company’s success.

Darren commented: “I always knew that we had a winning formula at Woods, but at times we were at risk of becoming a victim of our own success. In one year, we exceeded budgeted sales by nearly 50% which is when some bold decisions had to be made and the big move was on.

“I like to be ahead of the curve at Woods in all respects and planning and preparation was key to what we have been able to achieve. EMC’s Terry Rainback has been with us throughout the four-year journey and, as an owner-manager, it was great to have somebody else around when you needed them.”

Progress and change never stops and a piece of the plan recently concluded was a multimillion-pound refinancing of the company’s banking and finances.

Terry Rainback added: “Having a sound and reliable financial structure to support the company’s continued growth was important to ensure that Darren and the team could carry on making the right decisions for the business with confidence as it moves forward to achieve its future plans. The new banking facilities and services, established with Barclays Bank, are structured to provide the support and financial relationship that the business needs to power on.”

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