Maws for Fine Food

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Maws for Fine Food's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Maws for Fine Food is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Director of Maws Fine Foods Ltd,
Matthew Weatherly
Loaded vans ready to depart
outside Maws Fine Foods in Kent
Maws Fine Foods are a family-owned and operated
wholesaler of commercial catering supplies, stocking over
5000 products, encompassing ambient, chilled, frozen,
and non-food goods, delivered to businesses across London and
the southeast. As their Director, Matthew Weatherly explains,
their range includes meticulously sourced artisanal produce from
local UK suppliers alongside high-quality professional ingredients
only available from specialist producers in Europe.
Maws Fine Foods began life as a confectionary supplier, providing exclusive lines of
premium Belgian chocolate to confectioners, patisserie makers and restaurant chefs
in the British catering industry. Initially we made the decision to build the business
by evolving our proposition slowly, only expanding our ranges once we had
developed both expert knowledge of each new product market and an intimate
understanding of each customer’s individual needs.
Our journey
We began by supplying chocolate, and as we understood the totality of our
customers’ patisserie requirements we extended our range to encompass other
speciality patisserie ingredients. That helped us put sufficient warehouse and
storage infrastructure in place to begin supplying general dry goods. From there
we made a further investment in capabilities for storing chilled goods, and finally
frozen. We also supply the non-comestible items such as kitchen cleaning products,
which are just as essential to catering businesses on a daily basis.
»Director: Matthew Weatherly
»Established in 1988
»Based in Hawkhurst, Kent
»Services: Specialist wholesale
food supplies servicing London
and the southeast region
»No. of employees: 55
»Turnover: £8.8 million
»BRC Global Food Standards
Maws for Fine Food
Highlighting best practice
Today we stock well over 5,000
different items, and it’s a truly eclectic
array, yet these are all products
regularly required within the catering
industry. Some offer the time-saving,
practical solutions needed for running
a successful commercial kitchen, some
are artisanal products that “wow”
diners and help showcase the best of
local British produce, and some are
specialist ingredients you’ll never see
on a supermarket shelf – but all have
been meticulously sourced by our team
in order to offer the very best possible
combination of high-quality and
competitive value.
That’s really the foundation on which
we’ve built our business; we find
products we can wholeheartedly
endorse and are proud to supply,
we build strong relationships with
those suppliers and we become
ambassadors for their brands. Doing
this simultaneously strengthens
the connections and trust we’ve
established with our customer base by
providing them with an ever-evolving
range comprising these unique and
superlative products.
Securing that trust obviously extends to
the standards we apply to maintaining
our stock and fulfilling our orders,
which is why we were equally diligent
about attaining BRC accreditation –
it’s the leading globally recognised
certification programme for quality
and safety, and it’s achieved and held
by passing regular audits that include
inspections of our site.
Dependability is our key
Over 30 years on, our establish-expertise
and expand-slowly strategy is now paying
the long-term dividends we hoped for,
and over the past five years we’ve grown
exponentially, from a turnover of £4.9
million in 2014 to nearly £9 million today.
Doubling the size of our operation has
obviously been necessary to keep pace
with demand, but more importantly,
we structured this expansion so we
can continue delivering the service our
customers have come to expect.
No matter how rapid the pace at which
we grow, at our heart we remain a
family business, and we do everything
possible to secure that ongoing sense
of intimacy, understanding and rapport
with our customers. Regardless of the
thousands of ingredients we supply,
the one that matters most to us
We define this as the combination
of providing the right-quality goods
at the right prices, on the customer’s
doorstep whenever they need them.
We never wanted to be the wholesaler
that merely fulfils customer orders on
a monthly or weekly basis. We pride
ourselves on being the company that’s
there to help when no one else can,
whether it’s sourcing a niche product,
or a fast, emergency delivery. We
maintain close personal relationships
with our customers precisely because
we want them to feel comfortable
asking us to assist in these situations.
We believe it’s the only way to earn
true customer loyalty.
Maws warehousing
facilities hold the
BRC Global Standard
certification for storage
and distribution
We find
products we can
endorse and are
proud to supply,
we build strong
with those
suppliers and
ambassadors for
their brands
Brexit burden
Regardless of the final outcome, Brexit
has already challenged us to put
greater effort into maintaining these
standards on behalf of our customers.
The weakening of the pound in
light of the last couple of years of
uncertainty has already increased the
cost of imports, and we’ve been doing
everything in our power not to pass
that on to our customers.
It’s not a simple matter of finding new
UK suppliers to replace our contacts
overseas. Many of the specialist
ingredients we supply have been
sourced from Europe precisely because
no one else makes them. They are
both essential and singular, so much
so, they’re the only ones we deliver
nationwide. Furthermore, products
made by many of our UK suppliers
rely on other ingredients that can only
be sourced abroad, predominantly in
I think it’s sometimes easy to forget
how much more cosmopolitan our
tastes have become as a nation in
recent decades. We also seem to
have forgotten how many foodstuffs
we enjoy daily are actually seasonal,
because we get them all year by
importing from other countries. Two
of our biggest staple supplies are olive
oil and canned tomatoes. To get these
regularly we have to look to warmer
countries in the EU – and that’s not
simply for purposes of commercial
value: that’s to ensure a year-
One way to avert passing rising
import costs on to our customers is
by keeping our running costs and
overheads down, and I’m really
pleased that we’ve already invested
in a series of “green” solutions to
achieve this. Our customer support
managers now all have hybrid cars as
they spend so much time in the field,
assisting our customers face-to-face.
All our sales force locations, our office
and warehouse run on low-energy LED
lights with auto shut-off sensors, and
our electricity comes from a renewable
energy provider. As soon as hybrid
refrigerated delivery vans come into
production, our delivery team will be
migrated over.
Whatever the solutions, we’ll keep
striving to provide the same gold-
standard service that’s secured our
position in the wholesale food market
up to now – and we’ll continue to find
new products that encapsulate those
standards, both locally here in the
southeast of England, and throughout
the rest of the world.
Many of the
ingredients we
supply have been
sourced from
Europe precisely
because no one
else makes them.
They are both
unique and
Warehouse staff work
with over 5000 different
specialist catering

This article was sponsored by Maws for Fine Food. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster