Today’s Group member Wanis, the Afro-Caribbean importer, cash and carry and distributor, has opened new pound;17m custom-built premises in Leyton.
Wanis had to move to make way for the building work for the 2012 Olympic Games, and has used this to expand to a 120,000sq ft depot, securing over 80 local jobs. The new site is located close to the previous one and a key component in the move was being close to the Spitalfields Market, which has a lot of fresh produce which complements the specialist ethnic goods range Wanis offers.
Sanjay Wadhwani, director of Wanis, thanked Today’s Group MD Rod Hunt for its help in achieving the depot they wanted. Wadhwani said that Wanis was keen to expand on its reputation as the largest Afro-Caribbean specialist in the UK to be the largest in Europe. Over the last 10 years Wanis has grown a national distribution service to supply specialist Caribbean and African food and drink to wholesalers and retailers nationwide. It represents many lines including Jamaica Sun, Tropical Sun, Bigga, Dragon Stout and Island Pride Soups, and only advertises ethnic products on its end of bays display.
Building from scratch allowed Wanis to implement many environmentally friendly systems, with pound;1m spent and 15% of the operation using renewable energy sources. Kapil Wadhwani, general manager of Wanis, said: We use underground heating, a rain water harvesting system as well as solar thermal heating for our tap water. We are wholly committed to reducing our carbon footprint and hope we set an example that other operators can follow.”
Bicycle racks and shower rooms are provided to encourage employees to cycle to work.