Andrew Francis Butchers

Andrew Francis runs a traditional butchery based in Ludlow and has used the business he's secured with Shropshire Council as a solid foundation for growing his business.

Why were you able to bid for the contract?

As a small business, we wouldn’t have been able to provide meat to all schools in Shropshire.  When Shropshire’s Shire Services, the in-house catering service for Shropshire Council, split the business into several smaller contracts, it opened up the marketplace to local small and medium sized businesses.  We tendered to supply a small area of Shropshire, as part of a larger contract for Shropshire Council and now provide fresh meat and sausages for schools in the south of the county.

What is it like working for Shropshire Council?

It has been an excellent and very straightforward experience and very rewarding to be able to provide a product that is both healthy and that the county’s school children enjoy. As a customer, they are excellent too - payment is always prompt and religiously on time and as a client they are a pleasure to deal with. I’m glad to have taken the opportunity to work with the public sector and would recommend it to others.

What is the benefit to your business?

The contract has been fantastic for the business, increasing turnover year-on-year. I have increased my staff from five people to eleven. We have also had extra business from word-of-mouth recommendations, with parents coming into the shop having seen what they provide for children’s school meals.

The quality and value for money that we provide have allowed us to retain and expand the business that we do with the council. In 2010, we were successful in widening our contract to include the supply of free range eggs, we retained the council’s business after it was re-tendered in 2011 and Shropshire Council has also recently taken up extension options, which will take our supply up to the end of 2015.