Dealer becomes Dutch brand’s UK agent

Pico Catering Projects has been appointed the official UK agent for Animo water boilers after a chance encounter with the brand during a routine fit-out opened the door to a distribution agreement.

Pico was installing a new kitchen at a garden centre when it came across a commercial water boiler from the Dutch manufacturer that contained no data plate due to wear and tear over the years.

Company owner Tim Keating contacted Animo to source the relevant details and ended up being invited to meet a member of the company’s management team over in the UK on business, which subsequently led to a formal distribution arrangement being struck.

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“This is the first distributorship Pico have entered into but who knows [if it will lead to more], we are always on the look-out for a niche market or the next big thing,” explained Keating.

“Our strategy is a very fluid thing, we are always open to any ideas and concepts and will continue to look at ways of strengthening our brand. We live by two ideals: ‘speed of response’ and ‘continuous Improvement’ and feel if we stick with this strategy we will continue to move forward.”

Pico is convinced that Animo’s Optibean machine offers a solution to something lacking in the market, as it is available in a range of colours and personalised configurations.

“We can supply a bean to cup machine in any RAL colour, allowing the designer, dealer or consultant to match any branding or client colour schemes,” said Keating.

“We can also tailor the machines with customer logos or graphics, turning the machine into a valuable marketing tool for any business wishing to promote its brand. It works equally well on a table top, in a bar area or in a purpose-built pod. We see potential markets everywhere, from a car dealership that wants their badge on it to a coffee shop chain.”

Keating said the brand had already caught the eye of the NEC Group and was recently invited to tender for its machine business, which potentially represents a significant contract.

But the firm’s primary aim is to grow the Animo brand in the UK by engaging with the trade.

“In the rest of Europe, Animo is a very well-respected brand and has grown significantly since it was launched 63 years ago. It’s my job to make sure that we replicate that growth, respect and success here. Our core markets will be the designers, specifiers, dealers and consultants nationally and in Ireland,” said Keating.

“We are in discussions with a couple of wholesalers who have expressed an interest in stocking the Animo brand. We are very conscious that we must make our offer as attractive as possible and to create a level playing field for all, so that our growth is directly equitable to our customers’ growth.”

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