How did you get to where you are today?
I had started a career in accountancy when my father, Frank, who founded a seafood business in 1945, became ill. He asked my brother Alan and I to start running the business when we were in our early 20s and we've never looked back. We moved out of the seafood market a few years ago as we believed the future was in the food-to-go market. We continue to manage Freshway. We used to be slightly embarrassed about being a family company but now we're proud of it. We realise our customers see our commitment as a real asset.
Tell us a little about Freshway Foods
We supply a large range of sandwiches and fillings to four of the UK's top-10 retailers. Our clients include Sainsbury's, Asda, Greggs, Welcome Break, Shell and Cooks. We have just been awarded the title of National Sandwich Manufacturer of the Year for the second year in a row. We employ a team of more than 300 dedicated and professional staff at our Wolverhampton-based office, which we call our Freshway family.
What has been keeping you busy lately?
We've recently restructured our business into major account teams to deliver an even better service to our major clients. We provide a high level of service to all our customers, but have become aware that for the major retailers, a sophisticated, bespoke approach is required. We're thrilled the new structure has been so well received. We've continued our emphasis on quality, having secured a near 100% compliancy with the BRC A standard yet again. We've also invested in new equipment and processes to enable us to offer even more environmentally friendly ranges and biodegradable packaging.
What are your plans for 2007 and beyond?
We will be launching an ambitious plan to increase our turnover from £26m to £90m within the next five years. One of the ways we intend to do this is by continuous market research and NPD activity. We believe this is key for anticipating trends and providing first-to-market products that will deliver more profitability for our customers. We operate with three values in mind - providing best value, quality and innovation. Our business plan for the next five years provides activity that will consolidate and build on our growing reputation for delivering all three of these principles.