Though not yet officially on our Big 30 wholesaler list, London-based Loon Fung operates in the same sector as Wing Yip, and will definitely be knocking on the door now it has opened its fourth outlet, in Silverton, east London, this week.

The 45,000 sq ft store is designed to serve both retail and wholesale customers in the fast-growing Docklands area, which is expected to develop rapidly ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Commercial director Stephen Chung reports that the Silverton store has been well received. This bodes well and the new outlet could push Loon Fung's turnover well above £30m once it has been operational for a full year. Chung says: "People of all backgrounds are coming in here and telling us that they are very interested in going beyond ready meals into authentic Chinese ingredients and foods."

Loon Fung engaged store design company the Nuttall Group to come up with the layout. The results are impressive. The retail section is bright and airy and showcases features such as a sit-down noodle bar and a full-service fish counter. The wholesale section flows naturally from the retail area of the store and both are served by an ample number of cash registers.

"It has been a positive start for us so far," says Chung. "The retail portion is busier than the cash and carry, but we will launch a wholesale-oriented campaign in a few weeks, with promotions and marketing material targeted at trade customers."

Chung also believes that Docklands can support a healthy delivered wholesale business and says Loon Fung is working to develop a customer base there.

He concludes: "This will take a great deal of effort. It will not all be done in one day. However, we are off to a good start and encouraged by not only the volume of customers but the diversity as well."