The 45,000 sq.ft depot replaces Peter’s older Greenwich depot, which has been sold to make way for the Olympics development, and will give Peter’s the capacity to expand its distribution operation in the region by more than 20%.
The facility, which includes improved office and conference areas and increased storage and picking facilities, features a loading bay allowing eight 7.5-tonne dual temperature vehicles to be loaded simultaneously, Peter’s Food Service divisional md Neil Court-Johnston told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
"There is something like 14,000 take-aways in London, and at the moment we're trading with about 4,000 of these, so there is a lot of headroom. London is our biggest market so we needed room to expand."
He added: "Our first major new customer in the new Sidcup depot is Wembley Arena; we took our first order (for 8,000 pastries) last week for the UK Snooker championships. We've also launched a Steak & Fuller's Ale pie, which is now available for Londoners."
Court-Johnston has set his sights on gaining a bigger slice of the savoury pastry market for Peter’s, which manufactures its pies, pastries and sausage rolls at two state-of-the-art facilities in Bedwas, South Wales.
With 10 UK distribution depots, Peter’s supplies up to 1,000 stock keeping units to fast food outlets, fish bars, restaurants, cafes, sandwich shops, independent retailers, schools, hospitals and hotels around the country on an order today, deliver tomorrow basis.
The firm, which is gearing up for the launch of a new online catalogue in the spring, is also working on a clutch of new products, said Court-Johnston, who took the helm in October, five months after his controversial exit from Northern Foods' subsidiary Holland's Pies.