A fast-growing food wholesaler is opening a new depot in Carmarthen as part of a £6 million expansion plan.

Overall Harlech Foodservice – which has other bases in Criccieth in Gwynedd, Chester and Merthyr Tydfil – will be creating 150 new jobs, with 15 of them in South West Wales.

Harlech has already appointed Nick Sullivan, who has three decades’ experience in the food supply sector including 23 years with food distribution giant Bidfood, as the Regional Sales Manager for the patch.

The company is in the process of recruiting five  new field sales staff and nine new drivers to work in the area.

Opening the new Carmarthen depot was spurred by the company’s growth over the past three years which has seen sales increase from £32 million to a record turnover of around £50 million, with profit at an all-time high of more than £2 million.

According to Harlech, the expansion is being driven by the growing demand from customers in South West Wales, particularly in the hospitality sector.

Managing director David Cattrall said they were keen to respond to the challenges faced by hotels, pubs and restaurants with next day deliveries and “aggressively competitive” prices.

He said: “Harlech are disrupting the established way foodservice companies operate by changing the common practice of inflated list prices and increasing ‘negotiated’ prices without notice by offering transparent and competitive prices and excellent service to all our customers

“As part of our Trust our Prices campaign, we also guarantee that the prices of around 200 lines are locked in for several months, rather than sneaking prices up without notice, after ‘negotiation’.

“We understand how unpredictable trade can be for our customers so they can order up to 10pm, once their service has finished, and we deliver to premises the following day, up to six days a week, enabling chefs to plan their menus with confidence.”

According to Nick Sullivan, originally from Swansea, he’s  looking forward to the challenge of leading Harlech’s expansion in South West Wales.

He said: “I wanted to work for a Welsh food supplier and I see a major opportunity to expand in the region.

“I like the family history behind Harlech and how focused they are on customer service.

“I see this as a fantastic opportunity to expand their market and to offer businesses in the region an alternative Welsh supplier.

“There’s a massive opportunity here to bring the knowledge and expertise Harlech have developed successfully over the years.

“They deliver a top class service which I’ve never seen anything like before. Their focus on their customers was what really impressed me and it’s exciting to be a part of the launch of this venture.”

Harlech’s Head of Sales, Chris Gregson, added: “Having a base in Carmarthen is a key part of our £6 million growth plan which will create 150 jobs across the business and give us a strong presence across Wales.

“We see South West Wales as very similar to our heartland in Gwynedd with a strong tourism and hospitality sector which we are very well set up to serve as well as education and health services which we are also experienced in catering for.

“We are looking to bring more choice to South West Wales with prices you can trust and benchmark against the competition.

“We also take great pride in delivering high quality customer service and that is something that is also a key factor underpinning this exciting new phase in the company’s continuing expansion.

“Harlech Foodservice is a proudly Welsh company and opening the depot in Carmarthen means we can now serve the whole of the nation with the same level of high quality service, allied to fantastic products at hugely competitive prices.”