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Frozen produce distribution helped by Olivo

Reynolds Catering Supplies – frozen produce helped by Olivo

A fruit and veg stall was set up in 1945 by William Reynolds at the Ridley Road Market in Hackney, London. This business expanded rapidly and in 1988 Reynolds started supplying fruit and vegetables to restaurants in London and the Home Counties. A larger stall opening in the Old Spitalfields Market followed in 1989, then in 1991 a further move to the New Spitalfields Market in Leyton. From 2001 expansion continued with depots in Manchester, Bristol, and Birmingham and finally Scotland, all opening over three years to enable full national distribution. Then in 2005, Reynolds 140,000 sq ft national distribution centre was opened in Waltham Cross, just off the M25.

Still a family business, headed by William's grandson Tony (who recently was named as Business Person of the Year at the prestigious Hertfordshire Business Awards), the company has a turnover which has trebled in the last six years to around £150 million and now has over 650 employees and a fleet of around 200 delivery vehicles; nearly all vehicles and trailers are purchased outright.

Reynolds supplies most sectors of the food service industry such as restaurants, hotels, contract caterers and pubs. Its customers include many of the famous high street brands – Ask, Carluccio's, Leon, Pizza Express, Pret a Manger to name a few. They also supply many sporting centres as well as the catering facilities at many major events in the UK – examples include the huge crowds at the Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Meeting these demands involves processing and delivering more than 3,000 orders every day- fresh fruit, salad and vegetables, cheese and other dairy products.

The company's distribution team has taken on board the need to reduce carbon emissions and aimed at a reduction of 10% in 2011. Considerable efforts are made with the use of Euro 5 vehicles and direct drive refrigeration units, removing the need for a further diesel engine on each vehicle. Driver training is very much at the forefront of Reynolds' thinking, both from the point of view of fuel consumption as well as productivity. A 3.5 tonne electric vehicle with a Paneltex body is now being trialled as a possible method for future city deliveries.

To deliver the increasing amount of frozen food in their chilled temperature vehicles, Reynolds uses Olivo portable insulated containers with silent eutectic plate refrigeration. These effectively enable Reynolds to offer multi-temperature operations within their vehicles. Matt Jones, senior buyer, and Richard Hayward, transport planning, are pleased with the containers, which are strong and stand up very well to hard usage. Matt said: “They serve the purpose – and certainly meet our current needs!”

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