Sometimes the spark of an idea can lead to great things. And such was the case for local business businessman Gerald Salter, who started operating the business from home with nothing, to expanding into an East Anglian-wide family business employing 20 people.
Today, based at their impressive showroom in Suffolk, Freshpac is one of the leading business-to-business tea and coffee wholesalers in the East of England.Gerald's son Jason, explains this is down to four things - quality, consistency, service, and knowing the customer.
And it's these four things that have inspired confidence in the brand from cafes, restaurants and hotels across the region, who put their trust in Freshpac to deliver exactly what they need, when they need it.
From the showroom customers are able to see the range of coffee machines, ancillary items (such as creamers and sugars) and other supplies they can deliver, as well as tasting the products. And that's all in the knowledge that by using the retailer they can count on a strong, regular, high quality supply chain, and help when it's needed in the form of their team of six in-house engineers.
The coffee is roasted in-house and tea, is supplied from standard black and fruit tisanes to the house Suffolk blend with its own special serving teapots.
Jason's particularly proud of the business's relationships with Rainforest Alliance growers, Café Femenino in Peru (which supports women in the workplace) and Cameroon Boyo, which he says is fairer than Fairtrade. "We work directly with co-operative farm groups in Cameroon importing directly and paying them directly for the coffee.
This give farms direct access to the value chain and they have control, allowing them to produce higher quality coffee from which they can command more money, therefore earning themselves an income to bring them above the subsistence line. This project we wholeheartedly back as it is allowing the farmers to build a future for their own families whilst still keeping their own land.