Fine food distributor Cotswold Fayre is to expand into chilled food as it looks to double in size over the next three years.

The Reading-based business is planning to trial chilled distribution in a limited area this year before rolling it out more widely, Cotswold Fayre MD Paul Hargreaves told The Grocer, adding that he was also considering extending into frozen food distribution.

“We get asked about chilled by a lot of our suppliers as few distributors currently have a chilled offering,” he said.

The move comes after the wholesaler appointed former Musgrave general manager Ian Wood to the new role of operations manager. Wood, who has experience of chilled distribution, will also oversee installation of a new warehouse management system to increase efficiency.

“We need to be more like the symbol groups and help the retailers,” said Hargreaves.

Growth in the speciality sector had been driven by independent retailers consolidating disparate supply chains, he added.

The company was looking to double in size over the next three years having increased its turnover by 33% to £7.25m in 2013, said Hargreaves. It had grown its business in Scotland, the North of England and Northern Ireland and broadened its customer base as more garden centres and c-stores offered fine foods, he added.

“There is big potential for garden centres to have bigger and better food halls,” he said.

Cotswold Fayre is now distributing Mexican sauce brand Kankun.