Harlech Foodservice has launched a butchery facility at its Chester depot as part of its growth plans in north east Wales and the north west of England.
Harlech Foodservice’s award-winning Bwydlyn butchery is already making waves from its new premises, securing contracts with caterers including hotels, restaurants, schools, and sporting venues.
It becomes the second Harlech Foodservice depot to consist of a butchery, with its head office in Criccieth adding the facility in 2012.
And the family-run business is aiming to mirror the success of the brand in north Wales with its Chester operation on Sovereign Way, Sealand Industrial Estate.
Mark Lawton, Operations Director for Harlech Foodservice, said: “Harlech Foodservice has been serving caterers for more than 45 years and has done incredibly well in North Wales. The achievements have been built on service and quality.
“Opening a Bwydlyn butchery in Chester is a crucial step in our aim to become the go-to wholesaler for chefs in the region. We pride ourselves on offering products that are quality, consistent, and have provenance.
“The butchery employs 10 people and is headed up by master butcher Liam Harvey, and he is supported by two time-served supervisory butchers, each with 30 years’ experience in the industry. The team also consists of junior butchers learning their trade, as well as support members of staff for packing and labelling, which allows our butchers to focus on cutting meat.
“We also have an internal software system, Nucleus, which allows for a full field-to-fork identify. Traceability is key in the industry and our customers can see the entire journey from the farm to the chef’s kitchen. This gives our customers trust and confidence in us and our products.”
Bwydlyn stocks a range of beef, lamb, pork, and poultry products, and also sources produce from a number of Welsh farmers and producers. The Chester site will be offering regional lines and sourcing a range of products specifically sourced from the North West of England.
Harlech Foodservice has invested £120,000 in the infrastructure for the Chester depot, with further investment planned for warehouse storage and a telesales team at the 20,000 sq ft unit.
The wholesaler’s recruitment also includes apprentices for the butchery.
Mark added: “We have apprentices at the butchery in Criccieth and we will be offering apprenticeships here in Chester. Butchery is a bit of dying art. It’s highly skilled and there’s a gap in the market for good people, and we can’t wait to offer local people the opportunity to start their career in the industry.
“Our recruitment will go beyond the butchery and will include office support, drivers, and telesales. We’re thrilled to become a genuine part of the local community.
“The launch of the butchery in Chester also helps us to reduce our carbon footprint with reduced vehicle mileage for deliveries from head office to our customers in the north west. It’s part of our aim to have carbon neutral distribution by the end of 2020.”
Harlech Foodservice, which has a turnover of £32m, employs 200 and has 45 vehicles in its fleet. The wholesaler also has a depot in Shrewsbury.