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Food wholesaler Harlech acquires rival as part of expansion plans

10 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Harlech Foodservice MD David Cattrall Picture Mandy Jones

A fast-growing food wholesaler has taken over a rival company as part of its expansion in south West Wales.

Harlech Foodservice has acquired Celtic Foodservices and says the firm which is based in Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire is a “perfect fit”.

The move is part of an overall £6 million plan to create 150 new jobs and comes a few months after Harlech opened a new depot in Carmarthen where 15 sales staff and drivers have already been recruited.

It was spurred by the company’s growth over the past three years which has seen sales increase from £32 million to a record turnover of around £50 million, with profit at an all-time high of more than £2 million.

Growing demand

According to Harlech, which has other bases in Merthyr Tydfil, Criccieth in Gwynedd and Chester, the expansion is being driven by the growing demand from customers in south West Wales, particularly in the hospitality sector.

All 12 members of staff at Celtic Foodservices are transferring to Harlech, including director Jason Davies, and the premises in Pembroke Dock will also be part of the new set-up.

Harlech Managing Director David Cattrall said: “I am delighted we have successfully acquired Celtic Foodservice and this strategic acquisition is a significant step forward in our mission to expand our footprint into South Wales.

“Celtic Foodservice has built a strong reputation for delivering high-quality products and exceptional service to its customers.

“By integrating Celtic Foodservice into our operations, we are poised to deliver even greater value to our customers through an expanded range of products, improved logistics, and enhanced customer service capabilities.

“I am excited about the opportunities this acquisition brings and am committed to ensuring a smooth transition for all Celtic Foodservice customers and employees. “Our combined resources and expertise will enable us to better serve the foodservice industry, driving growth and innovation.

“I am looking forward to welcoming Jason Davies and the Celtic Foodservice team to the Harlech family and working together to achieve new heights in the industry.”

‘Aggressively competitive’ prices

Mr Cattrall added Harlech was responding to the challenges faces by hotels, pubs and restaurants with “aggressively competitive” prices.

He said: “There is clearly a big appetite for our approach in disrupting the way foodservice companies have traditionally operated.

“We have rejected the common practice of having inflated prices and increasing ‘negotiated’ prices without notice.

“Instead we have launched our new Trust Our Prices strategy with transparent and competitive pricing, backed up by excellent customer service.

“And to make life easier our customers can order up to 10pm, with next day deliveries six days a week.

“The acquisition of Celtic Foodservices is another new and important milestone our drive to provide a first class service to new and existing customers in every single corner of Wales.”


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