Caterers were able to discuss the latest food trends and access special deals from suppliers at the inaugural Thomsons Foodservice trade show last week.
More than 250 people attended the family-owned wholesaler’s event. Over half of Thomsons’ customers have been with the company since it was founded by Dennis Thomson in 1987.
In the proceeding 31 years, the Dumfries-based company has expanded to offer a comprehensive range of products from its state-of-the-art premises, which it moved to in 2014.
The company covers Dumfries & Galloway, as well as Ayrshire, the Borders, and Lanarkshire. Its customers range from small independent general stores, caravan parks, and cafes to butchers, bakers, restaurants, and hotels.
The trade show, held at The Cairndale Hotel, Dumfries, provided Thomsons with the opportunity to update their customers on new products and trends enabling them to see and taste what’s new in the marketplace.
Thomsons sales director Jackie Watt said: “Everyone has been talking positively about the trade show, and we have received fantastic feedback from customers and suppliers alike.
“For example, one customer commented that they got to sample and discuss lots of new lines from suppliers, as well as talk about trends, which will allow them to plan and stay ahead of their competitors.
“We have 500 customers and to get 250 people through the door for our first show was fantastic. We were doubly impressed with the turnout considering we cover a big geographical area, which includes some remote areas which are not readily accessed by larger and national wholesalers. In addition, the snow played havoc with travel on the day.
“Our customers have been pleasantly surprised by our extensive product range, which is also available to view online and in our new brochure.
“We had 56 suppliers displaying their products and they liked how engaging and friendly our customers are, as well as the valuable feedback gained on the new lines including how they would be best utilised within the foodservice environment. Suppliers also praised the The Cairndale Hotel as a good venue for the show.
“There was a good mix of both national and local suppliers, including Brigston & Co, Porrelli Ice Cream, Robertson Fine Foods, Galloway Lodge Preserves, Cow & Co Cheeses, John Watt Coffee, Browns Food Group, Dessert Depot, and Oro Gin. All offered deals available to those who attended on the day.
“A complimentary BBQ, in conjunction with Robertson Fine Foods, was also a big hit. Despite the day being a little cold, the food was fantastic and was greatly received by all who attended.
“Following on from the success of the event, we are planning to hold our trade show every two years.”
Thomsons, a member of Fairway Foodservice, employs 20 local staff, with some having worked for the company for well over two decades.