Motorway at night


Cumbrian food and drink producers target Booths

Dozens of Cumbrian food and drink businesses are hoping that Booths will stock their products thanks to an initiative by Cumbria Business Growth Hub.

The Growth Hub’s Supply Chain Opportunity Club hosted an event in Penrith where businesses met buyers from the supermarket chain, which has a policy of sourcing locally.

They heard about Booths’ procurement process and were able to ask questions and hand over product samples.

Those attending included Graeme Mitchell, a director of Tractor Shed Brewing in Workington.

He said: “This is a first step for us in dealing with bigger retailers as opposed to independents and farm shops, and it’s an opportunity to sell our beers outside the county.”

It was a really well organised event and certainly challenged some of the perceptions I had. My samples and details were passed to Pete Newton, the beer buyer, who liked both the beer and the packaging. I have a meeting with him in early March to see how we can progress. So thank you so much for your support and I will keep you posted on how things develop – Graeme Mitchell, Tractor Shed Brewing

Preston-based Booths has 28 stores across the north of England, including seven in Cumbria.

Amanda Wilson, a partner in The Pie Mill at Threlkeld, said: “I learned that selling to Booths isn’t as hard as I expected it to be. Initially, we could start by supplying a couple of stores and build a presence from there. We will pursue this.”

Although the event was aimed at food and drink producers, other potential suppliers attended too including Jo Evans who runs the skincare products business Bespoke Aroma in Windermere.

The Growth Hub set up the Supply Chain Opportunity Club last year to help smaller Cumbrian businesses sell to large private firms and public-sector organisations.

Its next event will give potential suppliers a chance to meet Pirelli at the company’s Carlisle tyre factory on April 16th.

Eva Foran, Supply Chain Development Manager at Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, which is the lead partner in the Growth Hub, said: “Around 50 businesses attended the Booths event and the feedback was extremely positive.

“We look forward to seeing more Cumbrian products on the shelves of Booths’ stores over the coming months.”

Matt Bruno, Innovation Manager at Booths, added: “The event was an opportunity to talk about the culture of Booths.

“We met some fantastic potential suppliers and found a number of products that really are of interest to us.”

The Growth Hub has recorded a podcast for businesses on how to supply Booths, to download click here.

For more information on selling to Booths click here.

To see how the Growth Hub can help businesses looking to sell to Booths, and other large businesses, click here.