Budding young foodie entrepreneurs will soon be able to pitch their ideas to Bartlett Mitchell, as part of a new programme from the independent caterer to encourage new talent to flourish.
The new scheme, called "BM Inc", is aimed at entrepreneurial suppliers and will provide them with a platform for showcasing new food and drink products to a fresh customer base.
They will be able to present their product through sample sessions with Bartlett Mitchell sites, where they can engage with customers and gain insights into consumer product perceptions.
Bartlett Mitchell plans to help successful applicants to the scheme to secure a foothold in the foodservice sector and to learn the key differences between it and the high street retail sector.
Three products, all aimed at today's health-conscious consumer, have already been introduced to the Bartlett Mitchell estate as part of trials held across 12 sites. These include Ape coconut bites, Aduna Baobab energy bars and Virtue Drinks, an energy water product.
Steve Fox, procurement director, Bartlett Mitchell, said: "I'm fortunate to be working for an entrepreneurial forward thinking business that enables me to work with the ‘newbies' in the market place. These are our future suppliers; they bring innovation to us and we enable their product to be exposed to our market place. Historically, it is very challenging for new suppliers to get their products listed so we hope to support them via our initiative.
"As many will know, it may take some entrepreneurs a few attempts to develop a product or service so, whilst some may not have success with their businesses the first time, the learning process often proves to be invaluable. Our door is always open to anyone out there with a new and exciting product to pitch."
Rahi Daneshmand (pictured), from Virtue Drinks, one of the suppliers to benefit from the programme, added: "As a start-up drinks brand, it can be difficult to navigate the world of catering. The exciting opportunity to work with Steve and his team has helped fast track our growth and introduce us to a much broader customer base."
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