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 this week 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.”
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.”
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, which can be downloaded from the Growth Hub website www.cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk