A Gloucestershire cold store contractor has delivered a £10.5m refrigeration facility for a wholesale food firm’s new headquarters in Devon.
ISD Solutions, which has also installed chilled facilities for major supermarkets at their stores and warehouses, has completed work on R D Johns Foodservice’s new distribution centre in Kingsteignton.
The 3,700 sq m premises is located around five miles away from R D Johns’ base on Milber Industrial Estate in Newton Abbot, where it has operated for 25 years.
The move comes as the business, which began as a family butchers and now supplies hospitality venues, schools and care homes across the South West, said it had grown “rapidly”, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The firm said turnover has risen from £5m in 2019 to around £42m last year, with owner Andrew Johns saying it was now targeting to increase this to £200m by 2026.
Last year R D Johns said expanding into the new facility would allow it to create 30 jobs, which would take its total workforce to around 250, including at its other depot in Bath.
Mr Johns said that the new premises marked a “significant milestone” for the company, as it seeks to become “the largest food wholesaler in the South of England”.
Mr Johns said: “We’ve massively outgrown our existing premises at Newton Abbot, where we’ve been since 1997,” he said. “When we started we were mainly butchers, but since 2000 we’ve evolved into foodservice, which is where most of our growth has stemmed from. That’s a very competitive area and it’s taken a long time to take the fight to our competition effectively, given their protectiveness over supplier relationships. That’s been a big challenge but we’ve met it head on and we’re now in a good place. However, our previous premises are no longer fit for purpose.
“With our other depot in Bath, this move allows us to grow, not just in terms of capacity but also allowing expansion with key operational and business development functions – marketing, procurement, distribution, sales and so on – under one roof. This new facility will be our head office and the brains of the whole operation.”
ISD Solutions’ sales manager Darren Willcox said R D Johns’ Milber facility was the first project he had worked on after joining the company in 1997.
Mr Wilcox said: “Of course we’re delighted to support Andrew and be there as part of the journey of his company. Our relationship is the ideal scenario, with mutual trust between partners for ongoing projects. Personally and as a company, we’re looking forward to our future relationship as R D Johns continues to grow.”
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