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May 14, 2020

Teamwork enables quick turnaround for artisan wholesaler

Three suppliers worked as a team to deliver a seamless service to an artisan food and drink wholesaler when he needed it most.

Burnley business CoolKit worked closely with PMD Business Finance and Mediafleet to quickly organise the manufacture, finance, livery and delivery of two fridge/freezer vans to customer Curd & Cure in order that it could ramp up its service across the South East.

Curd & Cure in Kent, is an independent food and drink wholesale company, which has built a strong reputation for providing artisan food and drink products, primarily within the hospitality and retail sectors, over some 30 years.

As Covid-19 took hold and restaurants, bars and cafes were forced to close their doors, the business lost 20% of its customers overnight.

What ensued was a momentary panic, quickly followed by a diversified customer offering and a huge surge in orders from a wide spectrum of existing and new customers across the South East.

Stuart Grant, Curd & Cure’s managing director, said: “A lot of supermarkets were not able to cope with the increase in demand and were running out of staple goods such as flour, pasta and fresh eggs.

“People started to look at farm shops and independent retailers to fill those gaps and while a lot of what we do is speciality products, we knew had the capability to diversify and help these retailers out.”

Demand was such, Curd & Cure recognised that they needed more fridge/freezer vehicles to be able to fulfil these increasing orders and contacted CoolKit right away.

Having previously ordered four vans from CoolKit, Stuart knew that they understood his needs and hoped that they would be able to turn two vehicles around for them quickly.

CoolKit was operating with a skeleton workforce at the time, and it was sales and marketing director Glenn McCulley who took Stuart’s call.

“We recognise how vital food and drink supplies are at this time and knew how important it was for Curd & Cure to expand their fleet quickly to meet increased demand.

Glen McCulley, Sales and Marketing Director at CoolKit

“I wanted to make the process as quick and easy as possible for Stuart, who was clearly very busy. As many of our supply chain businesses were closed, we offered to convert two of our stock vehicles for him and to assist with connections in both finance and livery to ensure a smooth conversion and delivery service throughout. It was all agreed within a single day.”

Lee Schofield, director of PMD Business Finance, said: “Stuart was originally looking at one vehicle, but with the finance package we were offering it made sense to get two vans; especially at a time when he knew they would be put to good use.

“While CoolKit got on the with manufacture of the vehicles, we worked behind the scenes to ensure the finance package was ready to go and managed the whole process smoothly.”

Barnaby Smith, managing director of Mediafleet, added: “We recognised how important it was for Stuart to have the vans on site as soon as possible and, working closely with CoolKit and PMD, we scheduled the work to the required timescales, ensuring Curd & Cure’s impactful and distinctive  vehicle wrapping.”

The vans were converted, liveried and delivered to site within 4 weeks.

Stuart said: “CoolKitPMD Business Finance and Mediafleet really did employ incredible teamwork to get the vehicles to us as soon as possible and made it a stress-free process.

“We have since been able to add nine new delivery slots to our schedule, have seen a turnover increase of 60% and employed new staff to fulfil and deliver our orders. We really cannot thank them enough.”