Henderson Wholesale has purchased kitchen facilities and created 14 new jobs in a £500,000 investment.
Among the new jobs, Henderson Wholesale has appointed its first in-house chef for SPAR Northern Ireland. Chef Carl Johannesson, who has over 20 years’ experience, including Executive Chef at the James Street South Group, leads the team of cooks who have designed and developed a new range of products that completely redefine the current retail offering of homemade meals.
The restaurant quality products under new own brand, The Chef, are handmade in small batches using quality ingredients, and are the first to come out of the new kitchen in Randalstown.
The range is a collaboration between Henderson’s Wholesale and Foodservice operations, using local suppliers K&G McAtamney, Bradmount Foods, Elmore Fish Ltd., Big Pot Co. and Daily Bake.
Neal Kelly, Fresh Foods Director at Henderson Group, which owns the SPAR, EUROSPAR and VIVO brands in Northern Ireland explained: “For over 120 years we have been supplying food to the convenience sector, sourcing as much as we can locally. We have continued to invest significantly in ranges which bring out the best local food producers Northern Ireland has to offer.
“The Chef is a range which is pushing new boundaries for us; producing chef-standard meals of our own using top quality ingredients, available to pick up in store.”
The Chef consists of 35 mains and sides which includes family favourites such as beef bolognese, fish pie and lasagne alongside world flavours such as risotto and stroganoff, curries and chowders.
Head Chef Carl Johannesson added: “It is an exciting time to bring my 20 years of restaurant cooking experience to SPAR NI’s kitchen and to create both global and local dishes using local ingredients, on a retail scale.
“My team and I will be cooking wholesome food for hundreds of shoppers to enjoy every day without compromising on quality and flavour, that I would happily serve in a restaurant. We’re confident to be bringing this level of quality food to the shelves of local stores and can’t wait for local shoppers to enjoy it.”
Henderson Group are currently recruiting to fill a wide range of roles throughout Northern Ireland, including Customer Advisors, Deli Team Members and an Architectural Technician role.