Veg wholesaler invests in growth

Third generation family business Troy Foods has extended its West Yorkshire-based operations with a £2m investment in a new distribution hub at Stourton Link in Leeds, complementing its existing two processing plants in South Leeds and creating 20 new jobs.

Dating back to the 1920s, the business began as a vegetable wholesaler and now employs 350 staff as well as up to 400 agency workers in peak seasons.  In the 1980s, it moved into supplying prepared vegetables and now processes around 800 tonnes a week at its Royds Farm Road facility, supplying a selection of prepared vegetables for ready meals and retail packs in the supermarkets.  In recent years, Troy Foods has diversified into processing value added lines such as dressed salads including coleslaw, potato salads and pasta salads as well as mayonnaise and dressings.  This operation, based at the company’s Hunslet facility, currently supplies around 1,000 tonnes a week direct to the leading retailers and food service groups.

Located close to Troy Foods’ two processing sites, the new 38,000sq ft distribution centre will provide ambient and chilled storage of raw materials, increasing capacity at the processing facilities and enabling production to be expanded.  The company secured a five year lease on the new premises with the help of Clarion’s property team.

“Over the last four years, we have seen really strong growth, particularly in the wet salads and dressings part of the business which now accounts for the larger part of our turnover,” explains James Kempley, commercial manager at Troy Foods.  “Last year, revenue in this division rose by 17% and we expect our total turnover to be close to £40m this year.

“As we continue to take advantage of new opportunities within the food sector, such as the growth of discount retailers, we expect our business to continue to grow and the expansion into our third premises will enable us to increase production in line with customer demand.  Going forward, our longer term vision is to move both of our processing operations onto a single site while remaining in West Yorkshire.”

Mr Kempley continues: “Having used Clarion for all of our legal work over the last five years, they have proved able to support us as the business has expanded and taken on the role of trusted adviser.  From advising on property, employment and intellectual property matters to litigation and corporate, there’s no doubt in my mind that they have played an important part in our success.  They are an excellent firm with people who are personable and straightforward in their approach and who understand our business.”

Simon Young, partner at Clarion, says: “Troy Foods has established a niche business, proving able to adapt to changes in what is a notoriously competitive and fast moving sector.   With a heritage of almost 100 years, it has diversified to meet new eating and shopping trends while retaining a focus on customer service whether working with traditional supermarkets or newer discount retailers.  In what is a very seasonal and time critical business, they have demonstrated an ability to provide high quality product and at the same time cope with the peaks and troughs in customer demand.”