Waitrose has highlighted its support for Scottish producers as its celebrated 10 years since it opened its first store north of border.
The retailer opened its first outlet in Scotland in June 2006 with the opening of two branches in Edinburgh. It now has seven stores and stocks over 800 Scottish lines from more than a hundred suppliers, helping dozens of local producers go into distribution throughout its UK outlets.
Among the suppliers that initially supplied only Waitrose stores in Scotland and then secured UK wide listings with the supermarket are Findlaters’ Fine Foods; Mo’s Cookie Dough; Stoats and Just: Gluten Free.
Tony Stone, CEO at Stoats said: “Waitrose was the first major multiple retailer to stock our products and their backing in our early days gave us the experience and confidence to expand our business throughout the UK.”
Martin Henderson, managing director of Findlater’s Fine Foods, said: “Since we started with Waitrose in 2010 we have been able to invest in better facilities and employ more people to help with production. Waitrose is a perfect fit for us and our handmade artisan pâté, dips and pies.”
David Chapman, Head of Commercial, Aquascot, said: “There was real excitement at Aquascot when we found out Waitrose was coming to Scotland.
“Two years after the Edinburgh branches opened, Aquascot began the eight year journey of becoming an employee owned business, something of a miniature version of the John Lewis Partnership. We now supply 44 lines across six categories and our overall volume in to Waitrose has almost doubled in 10 years.”
Waitrose managing director, Rob Collins, commented: “The wealth and quality of Scottish food and drink is a real source of national pride and we are equally as proud to have played a part in helping showcase its finest producers.
“We have established long-term relationships from the outset built on a shared passion for uncompromisingly good food, putting in place the foundations for us to continue to grow our Scottish supplier base.
“To discover a new food or drink is just as exciting today as it was ten years ago to and to see so many of them now supplying our stores across the UK is incredibly rewarding.”
Stephanie Pritchard, Scotland Food and Drink’s access to markets manager, commented: “Scotland Food & Drink has a long-standing relationship with Waitrose, including having delivered ‘meet the buyer’ events and working with food and drink suppliers to build their capabilities.
“Waitrose has a clear commitment to sourcing Scottish products and they’ve played an important role in the development of several companies here. As the retailer continues its growth, we look forward to continuing our collaboration, further building the Scottish offering across their Scottish and UK stores.”