Wholesale firm reaches for the skies
A fruit and veg wholesale company is going for growth following support from a scheme designed to help firms expand.
Last July, Richard Musgrave moved his business, Strawberry Fields, to new premises in Keighley and received assistance and a £10,000 capital grant from Rising Stars, a joint initiative between Bradford Council and the Bradford Chamber of Commerce.
He used the grant to pay for a fleet of new vehicles and upgrade the cold room facilities at Strawberry Fields – a move which is predicted to trigger growth at the firm.
Mr Musgrave, who spent more than two decades as a greengrocer in Saltaire, said: “We supply restaurants, hotels, cafes and any retail food outlet and we’re very close to adding our own prepared vegetable unit for things like coleslaw, diced carrots and potatoes, which we will then be distributing.
“I knew it was going to be a difficult year working with the banks so I spoke to Rising Stars adviser Carolyn Townsley.
“She’s been fantastic and helped us get the grant. It now means all of our vans are refrigerated and we’re geared up for getting new business. Without Rising Stars, I don’t know if that would have been the case.”
Rising Stars is continuing to offer business advice to Strawberry Fields, which employs 14 staff.
Carolyn Coleman, Rising Stars business services manager, said: “Rising Stars was able to help Richard Musgrave and Strawberry Fields make great strides and move up successfully to the next level of business with the assistance we have been able to provide.”
Councillor David Green, Leader of Bradford Council, added: “The positive growth and progression of Strawberry Fields during the past few months shows how Rising Stars is proving to be a valuable and worthwhile scheme across the district.
“Hopefully, the benefits seen by Strawberry Fields will encourage more firms to follow their example and take advantage of Rising Stars to improve and expand their business.”
For further information about Rising Stars and the council’s Business and Enterprise Programme, visit www.rising-stars.biz.