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MyFreshCo expands site with Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub support

A Coventry man who left a comfortable 9-5 job to follow in his family’s footsteps and launch his own business is now celebrating a significant milestone.


Rish Bhinder worked as an IT consultant for 15 years before deciding during the global pandemic that it was time to go it alone and chase his vision.


Inspired by his family’s background of running shops in Coventry and Leamington Spa since the 1970s, MyFreshCo was born to supply wholesale fresh produce and dairy to the catering sector such as schools, hotels, restaurants, care homes, private hospitals and many other businesses in region and the wider area.


Rish said: “When I was growing up, I always had a vision of doing what I am doing now. I gave up my comfortable job, and I just went for it overnight and so far, the business has grown every year and is going from strength to strength.”


In August 2020, MyFreshCo moved into a 900 sq ft warehouse on the Binley Industrial Estate, but grew so rapidly that it switched to a 4,000 sq ft site, also on the Binley Industrial Estate in December 2021.


The company also increased its van fleet from a single van to seven during this period – a number that is set to rise in the coming months – and delivers to as far as Oxfordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.


Moving into the new location also allowed MyFreshCo to achieve an industry wide recognised SALSA certification, which will allow the business to supply into national supply chains across the UK.


It was during this process of upsizing premises when Rish contacted the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub for advice on accessing grants to support purchasing equipment for MyFreshCo’s new home.


Rish was put in touch with the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and secured £25,000 that went towards a cold room for stock.


Rish added: “When I applied for the grant, we were still operating from our first warehouse which was very small, and I was in the process of getting quotes to kit out our newly leased bigger warehouse before we moved in.


“One of the reasons I approached the Growth Hub was that we needed to move to a bigger premises since we had outgrown our previous unit because of the number of customers that were coming on board and new work that we had tendered.


“Vital to that was the need for a multi temperature-controlled chamber walk-in cold room, which cost more than £70,000. We are a new business so any money that was coming in, we were just ploughing it back into the business, any additional funding we could receive was a huge help.


“We’ve now been able to take on new contracts and local customers knowing we have got the space to store and keep produce refrigerated, and also secure space for all our vehicles in one area.


“In the field that we are in, especially with the national contracts, produce must be temperature controlled and recorded. From the moment the produce comes into us, it goes straight into a walk-in cold room and stays in there until it is ready to go out and be delivered in our refrigerated vans.


“Receiving the grant has been a huge benefit for us as it has accelerated our business at a quicker rate. If we hadn’t received the grant, we probably wouldn’t have been in a position to be able to move into new premises as quickly as we did.”


MyFreshCo has also hired two more drivers to add to its existing team of four permanent staff members and three temporary employees.


Linda Savitri, account manager at Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, said: “MyFreshCo has experienced tremendous growth since being launched during the global pandemic.


“Rish wanted to take the business onto the next level and applied for a grant to help him fast track the process of moving to a larger premises and purchasing much-needed equipment.


“This has led directly to more orders being taken and therefore more jobs being created in the process.”


Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change at Coventry City Council, said: “I’m really pleased that we could use ERDF grant to support MyFreshCo, a company that is going from strength to strength.


“Rish has not only moved to bigger premises, he has invested in kit that has enabled him to bid for new national contracts and he has created two new jobs for local people. This is great news for the company and I am sure MyFreshCo will continue to go from strength to strength.”


The Growth Hub is supported by funders including Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire’s District and Borough Councils.

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Photo caption: Rish & Sharon Bhinder (MyFreshCo), Kierandeep Bal (Coventry City Council), Laura Delahunty (Growth Hub)

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