Woods Foodservice originated from Woods Table Dainties, a company supplying fine foods to the catering trade in the swinging sixties.
As Woods Table Dainties became more successful they were eventually bought out by a larger company, Winton Smith. At this point Winton Smith offered Alfred Labbett, Woods Table Daintie’s best sales executive, a franchise for the London area which he duly took. Alfred eventually created his own company, Woods Caterfoods. Alfred set about increasing the company’s profile in London and surrounding areas.
As the business continued to grow, Alfred brought on board his son Richard, who had owned a chain of greengrocers. Richard was appointed Sales Director and obtained new customers on a daily basis.
In 1982 Richard took control and drove growth throughout the 1980s. Richard’s son, Darren, joined the company in 1984.
The 1990’s saw an explosion of popularity in fine dining due to the massive increase in London’s population, their disposable income and their new demands due to experiences from foreign travel, a desire for healthy eating and a boom in celebrity TV chefs promoting this concept. It was during the 1990’s when the term ‘Gastropub’ was born.
Richard and Darren recognised the need for a Foodservice supplier that was fit for purpose for this fast growing sector of the catering market. They set out a blueprint to provide the very best products and service levels bespoke to these special customers every needs.
Darren was eventually appointed MD of Woods Caterfoods in 2000 and immediately re-branded the company which included changing the name to Woods Foodservice with the aim of establishing the company as the very best in the business.
In 2007 Darren again rebranded Woods Foodservice, with a new logo, uniform and brand new design to the livery on the Mercedes vans.
In August 2010 Woods relocated to a new warehouse facility near Heathrow. In 2012 a second new unit was acquired opposite and transformed into a state of the art chiller.
Due to continued growth, it was necessary for Woods to relocate again in 2016, this time to a brand new, environmentally friendly distribution centre in Uxbridge, more than 3 times the size of the previous one. Featuring top of the range efficient equipment, and huge chiller and freezer units.
In 2017 Woods introduced product demonstrations & training sessions for customers, which are regularly held within our own in-house demonstration kitchen. This is usually followed by meeting the staff and a warehouse tour providing customers with an insight on how slick our operation is.
In 2018 dedicated Business Relationship Managers were introduced to ensure that not only do Woods customers receive the most impressive products and the highest level of customer service but are also looked after and rewarded for their much valued loyalty. Many corporate events and supplier sponsored trips, including abroad are organised throughout the year.
During the last few years, the management at Woods have recognised the need to be one step ahead in the very fast paced technology advances. As a result numerous software and hardware upgrades have been implemented to establish Woods as one of the most efficient top end foodservice suppliers. VOIP phone systems, EDI, Online ordering, warehouse management software including voice picking, ePod technology, route planning software, Business Intelligence software, CRM functions, an app and serious back up and security systems to ensure maximum reliability in a service that is now 24/7.
2020 saw one of the biggest tests for Woods with the global pandemic shutting down the hospitality industry for a number of months. However, Woods adapted to survive and came out the other side in a stronger position, adding a comprehensive range of fresh produce to their existing listings.
Rest assured Woods Foodservice are continually assessing how we can improve our already award winning offering. Many exciting plans are already in place to ensure we will continue to be the very best option to the quality sector of the catering industry in London and the surrounding areas.