Side Salads tenants aim for British theme

The new tenants of wholesale trader Side Salads are looking for UK salad producers to help them put a British stamp on their firm.

It is looking for growers who are willing and able to offer continuity of supply of grade I produce to the New Covent Garden Market-based firm.

Paul Bishop, one of the three new owners, said he hoped growers will recognise that the market can be as good and profitable a place to sell to as other outlets.

"I'm looking for good English growers," he added. "We have a salad stand with a solid, 35-year history in the market. In the summer, I want to be able to put a complete English footprint on it. We would like grade I stuff as opposed to grade II. We try and get the best produce and may be a good outlet for growers to pay their bills."

He continued: "We would be open to talking to anyone who wants to put in top-quality produce in fair volumes."

Bishop and colleagues Ian Taylor and Paul Emmett took over the stand earlier this year and invested their own money in the business to make it financially viable. They have a decade of experience at the market having also run P&I Fruits.

Side Salads' customers include the retail sector, secondary wholesalers, farm shops and caterers. The owners are looking for supplies of UK-grown peppers, aubergines, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Bishop said: "I have so many customers who want English produce and who prefer it to Dutch stuff. Sometimes I wish that English growers would trust (wholesalers) a bit more."

His comments echo those of former Spitalfields Market Tenants' Association chief executive Jim Heppel in last week's Grower. He said many British growers are returning to wholesale after becoming increasingly disillusioned with supermarkets.

Bishop added: "Supermarkets do not realise how much potential English growers have got. They are bullied and pressed down and its not nice business.

"But growers can make a living out of wholesale if they get a good client. If they stay by us and give us a bit of loyalty they will get more loyalty back. If they use us right and believe in us it can work. We are keen to pay English growers quicker than anyone else."

- For further details, call Paul Bishop on 07974 226308. Side Salads is on NCGM stand numbers 5188, 6597 and 7720.

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