A former director of a Maidenhead distributor who also once worked for a wholesaler acquired by Bunzl Lockhart has set up his own online business selling catering wares.
James Longman, who was most recently with WBK, the catering equipment firm he co-founded nine years ago, has launched an ecommerce venture called The Kitchen Box.
The business will trade as Cater Supplies Direct and specialise in the supply of food presentation products, kitchenware, tableware and chefs’ equipment.
Longman is well-known in the industry having worked in the catering equipment market for more than 20 years.
Prior to founding WBK, he spent more than 10 years at Windsor Wholesale, a catering equipment provider that was taken over by Lockhart in 2004.
Longman left WBK in early summer and has been working on getting the Cater Supplies Direct website updated and launched.
It has already begun working with restaurants, cafes, outside caterers and large hotels.
Longman told Catering Insight the intention was to create a portfolio of products that would fill the needs of customers looking for new and exciting concepts.
“After many years of supplying professional food service products to restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels it became apparent that the products I was selling were far more durable and resistant than the everyday retail products,” he said.
“So I set out to find a way to offer foodservice products to the retail market, however, it is important that they are sold at affordable prices and in manageable quantities. I am trying to keep ahead of the competition using my vast knowledge of food service products that are trending or back in fashion.”
One of Cater Supplies Direct’s first target markets is the Mexican food market. Having worked with high-profile Mexican restaurant chains in product research and development, Longman said he sees this as an expanding sector for the business.