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Williamson Walkabout trade event comes to Lochaber

Hospitality, catering and other food and drink businesses in the Lochaber area now have the opportunity to attend the next Williamson Walkabout trade event scheduled for Wednesday 25th April 2018. The free to attend event comes hot on the heels of a highly successful Walkabout held in Stornoway in March.

Customers and prospective customers from Fort William, Mallaig, Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus, Spean Bridge, Ardnamurchan, Ballachulish, Kinlochleven and Glencoe will have a great chance to find out more and see and sample hundreds of products from around 40 of our key food and drink suppliers who hail from all over the UK. Entry is for the trade only and bookings can be made quickly and conveniently at www.foodwalk.co.uk.

Suppliers represented, many of whom are Scottish or local to the Highlands and Islands, will all be under one roof at the Moorings Hotel, near Fort William. They will attend the event in person providing demonstrations, offering free tastings and highlighting the key benefits of their products. The trade only event will help join up the food sector, resulting in better product knowledge and in turn it will help those attending to enhance their food and drink offering and increase profitability.

A wide selection of goods from artisan cheese, craft beers and premium soft drinks to an array of catering ingredients, wines, beverages, essential kitchen supplies and cakes will be on offer. A fresh produce display will also be on show.

The event is aimed at anyone from the Lochaber catering, hospitality and retail trades and is free of charge. Hotel, restaurant and café owners are therefore welcome to attend along with their staff which can include chefs, bar staff and cleaning personnel.

All suppliers will offer a one-day only rich promotional deal that provides excellent value for local businesses currently planning their Spring and Summer offerings.

The Lochaber Walkabout is a thank you from Williamson’s to its valued customers. As well as free samples, tasters and a goody bag, high quality catering and hospitality is provided throughout the day and recognises the fact that several customers will travel significant distances to the event.

It will also help those coming along to understand the diversity of Williamson’s range which now extends to over 3,000 product lines from dozens of different suppliers. The Show takes place at an ideal time as Williamson’s daily Monday to Saturday delivery schedule down the Great Glen and into Fort William and the surrounding area starts to prove popular with existing and new customers alike.

With the Highlands and Islands attracting wider global attention as a destination of choice, 2018 has every chance of providing another great opportunity to grow the north’s hospitality and catering sector with Williamson Foodservice standing by to help service this.

Its growing fleet of 30 vehicles cover everywhere from Lochaber, Skye, Ross-shire and the Western Isles to Inverness, Moray, Caithness and Sutherland as well as parts of Argyll.

Those attending can also catch up with others from the trade, network with new businesses or simply chat to Williamson’s staff and suppliers about their future plans or requirements in a designated meeting area.

Doors open at 10:30am on Wednesday 25th April 2018 at the Moorings Hotel, near Fort William. Entry is by ticket only and early booking to guarantee your place is recommended. This can be made easily and securely at www.foodwalk.co.uk

For further information call us on 0345 450 8888. We look forward to seeing you there!

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MD’s update – April/May 2018

As we all officially get a Spring in our stride at this time of year, we have been busy organising and delivering two trade shows in different parts of the Highlands.

Our Williamson Walkabout trade event in Stornoway during March has already taken place and we are very pleased with the results. We saw nearly 100 customers on the day who really appreciated meeting several of our key suppliers in person. The show featured over 40 other food and drink manufacturers from all over the UK that represented a good cross section of our 3,000 product range.

We are now preparing ourselves for the next trade event which is scheduled at the Moorings Hotel near Fort William on 25th April. I hope as many of you from the Lochaber area can come along as possible! We have a special ‘one-day only’ catalogue full of great offers but you have to attend to qualify for these

In Lochaber, virtually every exhibitor will have a manned presence so, as well as meeting many of our own staff, we will have 35-40 suppliers attending in person too. They will be there to help explain our range and how to increase your returns, cater for your market more effectively and offer new options you may not be aware of. With spaces filling up already, guarantee your places by logging on to www.foodwalk.co.uk. Both these shows help join up the food sector in these areas and results in better product knowledge and awareness.

The Lochaber event also comes at an ideal time as our daily Monday to Saturday delivery schedule down the Great Glen and into Fort William and the surrounding area starts to prove popular with both existing and new customers.

Our recently launched April/May issue introduces a range of foodservice sized Müller yoghurt to help satisfy guests at breakfast time. Innovative one cup coffee filters from Café Express are also available for the first time. These give that real coffee taste in a convenient and novel package that your customers are sure to be talking about. We also feature high quality deli and fine dining ingredients that produce the wow factor in higher end dishes.

Recently we’ve been speaking to a small selection of craft breweries about cask and KeyKeg options and you will see these gradually introduced over the summer. The WooHa Brewing Co and Thistly Cross Cider are leading the way on this. Understanding the need to refresh your cask and KeyKeg offering on a regular basis, WooHa are launching ‘Off Kilter’ in April as a special edition Scotch Ale and this will be quickly followed by ‘Sunshine IPA’ in May – so watch this space! These options can all really help your business capitalise on the demand for local/Scottish craft beers – and most importantly keep customers coming back for more. Please remember we can assist with couplers, lines and POS material to support your offering.

We have also recently taken in a good quality and high value cake option in Sutherlands Cakes. They offer excellent margin possibilities either on their own or as part of your wider traybake/cake offering. Sutherlands has been supplying cakes and traybakes for over 10 years and we are carrying 74 lines including cakes, sponges and muffins to biscuits, tray bakes and loaves. Several of these options come individually wrapped which give customers maximum confidence and convenience. Find out more about these on our website.

As Spring becomes established, foraged produce will again come to the fore so do ask about what we have in season. In the meantime, as we put a pretty cold winter behind us, I look forward to meeting old faces and new at our trade event in Fort William on 25th April where I hope we can help you explore new possibilities, increase your margins and meet your food and drink goals.

Here’s to a successful 2018 season for everyone in the north’s food and drink sector!

Best wishes,

Gary Williamson, Managing Director

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Spring Walkabout for Stornoway

A Williamson Walkabout trade event comes to the Western Isles on 14th March for the first time. Customers and prospective customers from Lewis, Harris and the Uists will have a great chance to find out more and see and sample hundreds of products from 40 of our key food and drink suppliers who hail from all over the UK. Entry is for the trade only and bookings can be made quickly and conveniently at www.foodwalk.co.uk.

It means those suppliers represented, many of whom are Scottish or local to the Highlands and Islands, will all be under one roof at the Cabarfeidh Hotel in Stornoway. Several of these will attend the event in person providing demonstrations, offering free tastings and highlighting the key benefits of their products.

A wide selection of goods from artisan cheese, craft beers and premium soft drinks to an array of catering ingredients, wines, beverages, essential kitchen supplies and cakes will be on offer. A fresh produce display will also be on show.

The event is aimed at anyone from the Western Isles catering, hospitality and retail trades and is free of charge. Hotel, restaurant and café owners are therefore welcome to attend along with their staff which can include chefs, bar staff and cleaning personnel.

All suppliers will offer a one-day only rich promotional deal that provides excellent value for Western Isles businesses currently planning their Spring and Easter offerings.

The Western Isles Walkabout is a thank you from Williamson’s to its valued customers. As well as free samples, tasters and a goody bag, high quality catering and hospitality is provided throughout the day and recognises the fact that several customers will travel significant distances to the event.

The Western Isles Walkabout trade event will also help those coming along to understand the diversity of the Williamson’s range which now extends to over 3,000 product lines from dozens of different suppliers.

Many of these are Scottish or local to the Highlands and Islands which visitors and consumers are increasingly interested in. Other suppliers from the rest of the UK offer premium quality and great possibilities for Western Isles businesses to increase their value and profitability.

With the Highlands and Islands attracting wider global attention as a destination of choice, 2018 has every chance of providing another great opportunity to grow the north’s hospitality and catering sector with Williamson Foodservice standing by to help service this.

Our growing fleet of 30 vehicles cover everywhere from the Western Isles, Skye, Lochaber and Ross-shire to Inverness, Moray, Caithness and Sutherland and parts of Argyll. We have a Stornoway depot serving hotels, restaurants and cafés as well as independent retailers and others involved in the area’s catering trade.

Those attending can also catch up with others from the trade, network with new businesses or simply chat to Williamson’s staff and suppliers about their future plans or requirements in a specially designated meeting area.

Doors open at 10:30am on Wednesday 14th March 2018 at the Cabarfeidh Hotel. Entry is by ticket only and early booking is recommended which can be made easily and securely at www.foodwalk.co.uk

For further information call us on 0345 450 8888. We look forward to seeing you there!

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MD’s update – February/March 2018

Spring is on the horizon and we’re looking forward to a busy 2018 season on a number of different fronts. These include several operational improvements including a six day a week, Monday to Saturday delivery service to the Fort William and Lochaber area and Williamson Walkabout trade show events in both Stornoway and Fort William. Our most recent promotional brochure is also just out covering February and March.

The two trade shows are planned for Stornoway on 14th March 2018 and Fort William on 25th April and we look forward to welcoming as many customers and prospective customers as possible to these events. You can already book on to the Stornoway event at www.foodwalk.co.uk. Details for Fort William will appear here too when more information becomes available.

We will have around 40 suppliers either attending or represented at each show who together offer hundreds of products. They are a good example of the 3,000+ lines we carry overall as a foodservice business. These include craft beers, fruit and vegetables, an extensive ingredients range, coffee, cakes and premium drinks amongst others.

Plenty of samples, free hospitality and of course a goody bag should enable these trading days to be a success for everyone involved. By attending in person there will be plenty of special deals available too so please take advantage of this opportunity to come along, find out more about what we are about, grab yourself some early season bargains and establish how we can help you achieve your hospitality, catering and retail objectives.

Having experienced a record breaking year in 2017, we are also currently re-designing our internal systems to ensure picking, packing and deliveries are even more efficient and comprehensive to service our customers’ best interests. A good example of this is that customers in the Fort William and Lochaber areas will have a Monday to Saturday delivery service, six days a week starting from 12 February. We also plan to add to our fleet of modern refrigerated vans and trucks soon to ensure all orders reach you as fresh and as quickly as possible.

Our regular bi-monthly promotional brochure has just been launched covering February and March. It contains some special deals which I’m sure our 1,200+ customers from across the Highlands and Islands will appreciate. This particular publication has been produced with a distinctive local and Scottish theme championing our ongoing commitment to provenance. Salmon, yogurt, artisan soft drinks and snacks all feature strongly aside local cheeses and craft beers. You can download a copy here.

We are continuing to work closely with our recent supplier success stories namely Fentimans and Café Express who are both featured in our recent brochure. We expect increasing numbers of customers to continue to be drawn to these premium brands that offer great value and margin possibilities while delivering fantastic taste your customers are sure to enjoy.

Finally, several of our customers have in the past asked about a regular produce stock update. Over the last few weeks we have trialled a new, daily system on the Twitter social media platform which lists common products and provides a brief commentary about the current market for fruit and vegetables. This can include what’s in season, what’s eating well and any other information we feel might be of interest like price changes or availability. The overall aim is to help our customers plan, achieve best margin and deliver a high quality customer experience. Please do follow us on Twitter to ensure you get this daily update.

Thanks for reading and whether you come along to one of our trade shows in Stornoway or Fort William or engage with us for the first time this year as a new customer, I look forward to meeting and speaking to as many of you as possible during 2018.

Best wishes.

Gary Williamson
Managing Director

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