Taylors Regional Foods will open a 33,000 sq ft outlet in Dundee next week as part of a £2m investment in the company. If it is successful, a further cash & carry could be opened in Exeter within a year.
Taylors, a sister company of potato supplier Taypack, already has distribution centres in Scotland, Wales and the south west. The new cash & carry would give it direct access to a range of independent retail customers, said founder George Taylor.
A diverse portfolio of 400 premium and hard-to-source lines will be sold, with the range including products such as gooseberry and coriander chutney, Skinner's Cornish lager, Simpsons' olive oil oatcakes, lava bread, pasties and cider sausages.
Customers will either be able to come in and shop for products themselves or order via a delivery service. A dozen new jobs have been created at the site, which was formerly a Booker cash & carry.
"We have spent the past two years putting together a range of local and regional food and drink products from 10 counties, plus Wales and Scotland," Taylor said. "What we want to offer to retail is a range of the best British products that they can't easily get their hands on."
Regional food ranges had become "a bit dull" in many outlets, with the same jams, shortbreads and other items turning up everywhere, Taylor said.
However, premium did not mean the products were expensive, he insisted. "We are mindful of the type of range we offer. We are not too boutique. There's an emphasis on value as well as quality."
Taylors Regional Foods was formed in 2006 to source and distribute local food to a range of retail customers throughout the UK.
Taypack has also been taking a local approach this year after it formed a joint venture with Mackie's of Scotland to produce the country's only home grown and manufactured premium crisps.