Brothers eye bumper first year

An East Lancashire meat wholesaler is on schedule to achieve a turnover in excess of £3m in its first year.

Grass Roots Wholesale Food is already outgrowing its 8,000 sq ft warehouse premises in Altham, as what began with a five-strong team will reach 40 by the end of April.

The Moorfield Industrial Estate business is equally owned by entrepreneur brothers Simon, 27, and Nick Mellin, 25, and a private investor.

The brothers are no strangers to success, both being majority owners of sustainable retail food business Roaming Roosters, Higham, which increased its turnover 15 times last year and is on target for a further 33% growth this year.

Simon said: “When Roaming Roosters opened its farm shop, bistro and education centre we found we were constantly being approached by people want to resell our products.

“We recognised there was huge potential for our sustainably farmed products, and after testing the market, decided to set up Grass Roots. In doing so, we were enabling Roaming Roosters to shine as a retail business and Grass Roots as a wholesaler.

“Right from the outset, we boasted a wealth of successful restaurants and gastro pubs as our wholesale customers, primarily within the Lancashire area and now in London and UK-wide.”

“Resale is also proving a huge area of growth for us. We are already working with a number of big name online retailers and shopping channels and are in the completion stages of developing software which will further enhance the potential of online sales, opening us up yet again to a much wider audience.

“The business is just five months in, yet we have so many exciting opportunities presenting themselves to us. Key to our growth at this stage is the recruitment of well skilled butchers and cutters and we are about to embark on a huge recruitment exercise in order to get this team in place.”

With the average age of a butcher being 55, Grass Roots is also in talks with a local college in order to provide training programmes for young people wishing to enter the trade. Simon added: “From a very young age we learned the traditional methods of both farming and butchery and by sharing our knowledge and skills we can ensure quality meat for generations to come.”