Bartlett Mitchell programme targets ‘newbie’ food entrepreneurs

Rahi Daneshmand
Industry
19/09/2017 - 12:25
Contract caterer Bartlett Mitchell has launched its ‘BM Inc’ programme aimed at young foodie suppliers and entrepreneurs, offering them the chance of a future partnership.

Hoping that it encourages "supplier innovation" and new talent to "flourish", the programme gives opportunities for suppliers to showcase their food drink and products in Bartlett Mitchell's market place.

To be accepted onto the programme, suppliers are asked to pitch their product to Bartlett Mitchell’s procurement team and, if successful, they will be offered the chance to trial their product at up to 12 sites.

Bartlett Mitchell will form a formal partnership with the supplier if it finds the trials prove popular with customers.

Steve Fox, Bartlett Mitchell procurement director, said: “I’m fortunate to be working for an entrepreneurial forward thinking business that enables me to work with the ‘newbies’ in the market place.

“They are our future suppliers; they bring innovation to us and we enable their product to be exposed to our market place. Historically, it is very challenging for new suppliers to get their products listed so we hope to support them via our initiative.

“What we are looking for is innovation and something quirky to complement our food offer. The big brands can be purchased in any number of retail outlets – we want to offer our customers a point of difference.

“As many will know, it may take some entrepreneurs a few attempts to develop a product or service so, whilst some may not have success with their businesses the first time, the learning process often proves to be invaluable. Our door is always open to anyone out there with a new and exciting product to pitch.”

Three products, all aimed at today’s health conscious consumer, have already been introduced to the Bartlett Mitchell estate as part of trials held across 12 sites. These include Ape coconut bites, Aduna Baobab energy bars and Virtue Drinks, an energy water product.

Rahi Daneshmand, from Virtue Drinks, said: “As a start-up drinks brand, it can be difficult to navigate the world of catering. The exciting opportunity to work with Steve and his team has helped fast track our growth and introduce us to a much broader customer base.”

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