Sustainable space provides the perfect location for growth
When premium ingredients supplier Albion Fine Foods was looking for a location to support its rapid growth, Goodman’s Crossways Commercial Park provided the ideal space for the business to expand and realise its future ambitions.
- Strategic location to serve customers faster
- High quality facilities to support recruitment and retention
- Sustainable features to reduce energy use
Part of family-owned Vestey Holdings, Albion Fine Foods supplies chefs in London and the South East with quality dairy, frozen and dry goods, as well as specialist items from its range of more than 4,000 products.
Making up to 1,400 deliveries a day and operating seven days a week, the business required a strategically located distribution facility that could meet growing demand, increase efficiency and enable speedy delivery for its customers.
Strategic location – fast and reliable
The 138,062 sq ft distribution facility at Crossways Commercial Park in Dartford, Kent, is less than a mile from Junction 1a of the M25. Offering fast access to London and the national motorway network, the location is ideally suited to serve Albion Fine Foods’ customer base, reducing delivery miles and increasing the speed of service to cafés, pubs and restaurants. Chefs can place an order any time up to midnight and have the items delivered before their shift starts the next day.
The area’s large labour pool also provides opportunities for recruiting staff as the business grows. Kent is home to more than 2,500 food and beverage businesses and with a steady stream of graduates in food and agriculture, benefits from a skilled local workforce of approximately 16,000 people.
Flexible facilities for increased capacity and collaboration
With almost 6,000 sq ft of flexible office and amenity space in addition to the 132,000 sq ft warehouse – Goodman’s Crossways Commercial Park is more than a distribution hub for Albion Fine Foods. Its new headquarters includes everything the company needs to increase efficiency for fulfilling customer orders in an environment where staff feel valued.
The warehouse, with capacity for up to 15,500 pallet spaces, enables the business to hold more stock, grow its product range, and pick, pack and load orders more accurately. An additional mezzanine level provides a dedicated space for the company to scale up its pre-prepared food offering, while a demonstration kitchen is where new products are tested and showcased to customers.
Open-plan offices support collaboration and the staff café offers freshly cooked food from breakfast through to dinner. These areas are a great way of connecting people during their working day.
Meeting ESG ambitions
The highly sustainable facility has been developed to a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ specification and achieved an A+ energy performance rating, with a full rooftop of solar photovoltaics helping to offset some of the building’s energy usage. A specialist carbon-neutral cladding system provides optimal environmental conditions to store a range of products and supports temperature-controlled, or chill storage.
Sustainability features include:
- 1,036kWp solar PV system generating 905,900kWh of renewable energy each year
- Innovative SolarWall® technology for heating the building’s office areas
- Solar thermal hot water
- Rainwater harvesting
- Electric vehicle (EV) charging points and infrastructure for future EV fleets.
Family and community are two important values for Albion Fine Foods and despite relocating from 30 miles away, the business has retained most of its staff. The new location offers great public transport links, with regular bus and train services, as well as opportunities for employees to make more sustainable choices of their own, such as walking or cycling to work. Its focus on the local community has also seen it install an organic composter for food waste, such as vegetable peelings. Once compacted, the pellets can be used in wood burners as clean fuel and will be given away locally to those experiencing fuel poverty.
Toby Raphael, General Manager at Albion Fine Foods, said:
“We recognised the need for a sustainable, well-connected property that would give us the opportunity to build and improve operations for our customers across London, the South East and further afield.
“Goodman’s Crossways 138 was the ideal choice, blending a strategic location with a high-quality facility. This will support our mission to deliver greater operational efficiency and provide best-in-class customer service.”
Harry Jennings, Finance Director at Albion Fine Foods, added:
“The opportunity to achieve a high level of energy-efficiency using on-site renewables was a major draw. Not only do sustainable features assist us in achieving our environmental goals, but they will create cost savings by enabling us to use renewable energy for more energy-intensive temperature-controlled storage.”