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Prime Foods set to expand

Tuesday August 06, 2013 Written by Published in Economy

Dry goods will be among a new range of products available at Prime Foods in coming months.

The business is currently expanding, with construction underway to extend the store in order to accommodate a new range of products, and make space for even more chilled and frozen goods.

Managing director of Prime Foods Daniel Forsyth said the expansion has long been on the cards for Prime Foods.

“It’s always been our goal to move into dry goods. We wanted to get the first part of our business right before we expanded.”

The business, which began three years ago and now employs 24 staff, is primarily focused on chilled and frozen products and will see the introduction of a range of new products as well as a bigger space to shop in.

“We want to focus on quality, niche products. We don’t want to be everything to everyone,” said Forsyth.

He said the new range of products will include rice, flour, sugar, salt, vinegars, sauces, oils and marinades, covering both low and high-end price brackets.

But a key reason for the expansion, which involves extending the store into a space previously leased by Cooks Lager Brewery, is to have a larger range of chilled and frozen goods to display.

Forsyth said the store is currently too small to accommodate demand, with staff having to re-stock shelves and freezers more frequently than he would like.

“When we’re busy, we have to top it up every five minutes – we just don’t have the space. It’s a lot of double-handling, it’s inefficient,” he said.

“We want to offer our customers a better space to shop in, where you actually enjoy shopping for your food – where it’s not a chore. And we need space to do that.”

The seed for the new space was planted more than a year ago, when Forsyth began talking to the owners of Cooks Lager Brewery – who were leasing space they weren’t using. With construction being managed by Prime Foods co-owner Astor Estall and his team, it is hoped the new space will be open to customers in September – but Forsyth said if it takes a bit longer to get it right, so be it.

“Our business has grown quite dramatically since we first started. If you want to get it right, you’ve got to make sure you don’t grow too fast. If you don’t plan it right it’s a real nightmare.”

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