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Whitby Seafood to supply scampi to Tesco stores
10:14am Tuesday 6th September 2011 in News
A LOCAL seafood business has invested millions in increasing its capacity to supply its products nationwide.
Whitby Seafood, which employs 130 people in Whitby, has now won a contract to supply its Whitby Scampi in Tesco stores nationwide.
Owner Graham Whittle, who founded the business in 1985 from the assets of the Whitby Shellfish company, said that in the last three years, the business has invested in a £1.4 million cold store, which was completed earlier this year and spent £2 million on improved freezing and packing equipment in the factory.
He said this has helped the £25 million-turnover business, originally focused on the catering sector, to expand its retail side to 50 per cent of its operations.
Graham, who now runs the business with his daughter Laura and his sons Edward and Daniel, began selling scampi to local restaurants and pubs, but as demand for British scampi grew so did the business and he began supplying other local outlets.
Two years ago it started supplying scampi to Tesco in Yorkshire and a year later, increased its range to stock Whitby Seafood Fishcakes and Breaded Prawns.
Graham Whittle said he had always wanted to supply the regional brand nationally. He said the formula of local, healthy and sustainable food had worked for the business.
He said: “Tesco represents a significant increase in volume which we're very happy about and it's quite an achievement to get a regional brand listed nationally in Tesco. We're very proud at having joined that club.”
The business also supplies Asda, Farm Foods, Lidl and Sainsburys. Caroline Bartrop, regional marketing manager for the North and East of England for Tesco, said: “Whitby Whole-Tailed Scampi has been so popular in Yorkshire and it has such a great British heritage that we knew we had to take this great local line nationwide. The rate of sale of the product was so high in local stores that we knew it was more than worthy of extending nationally. Since then, to help grow their business, we have worked closely with them on some fantastic promotions and sampling activity using their Scampi Camper to raise awareness in store carparks and with money off coupons.”