Sourced Market to join the motorway services food revolution via the M1
Motorway service areas are increasingly opening up to the speciality food sector as they seek to provide alternatives to the mainstream brands and concessions with which they have become synonymous.
FFD has learned that London-based Sourced Market was in legal phase of agreeing a deal to open a 4,500 sq ft shop on the new Leeds Skelton Lake services, which operator Extra is building at J45 on the M1.
Only last month, Roadchef revealed plans to include a farm shop selling produce supplied by local farmers at a new £45m motorway service area in North Yorkshire.
Fellow operator Westmorland has already proved the concept works with its farm shops at Gloucester Services on the M5 and at Tebay Services in Orton, Penrith.
Ben O’Brien, founder and chief executive of Sourced Market, confirmed that the retailer was working with Extra and will open on the M1 in November this year.
“We are working with them on a 4,500 sq ft site. It will have retail, food on the move, coffee and bakery, a small café with a bit of seating and speciality retail like craft beer, wine and cheeses.”
Andrew Long, group chief executive of Extra, said it had pioneered a greater range and choice for customers.
“Sourced Market for us is extending that range of different food offers. It’s very good quality food and we think customers are increasingly becoming more discerning.
“I like the Westmorland offer and, for me, we would like to have Sourced Market and other operators of that nature as part of our tenants and brand line-up and we see that as complementing other major brands.”
Catherine Shuttleworth, chief executive of marketing agency Savvy, said motorway service stations had always had a “terrible reputation” when it came to food but over the past few years standards had improved in the shape of new retail formats from Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.
“Standout motorway services remain Tebay and, of course, their new format on the Gloucester services where Westmorland services specialise in artisanal food.”
Shuttleworth said the costs of delivery have been off-putting and a barrier to entry for many small businesses because space has come at a premium.
“However, travellers will continue to expect high standard of product whether they are at home or on the move so opportunities for smaller producers and operators who can create a simple method of delivery will be welcomed.”
This story appeared in the August issue of Fine Food Digest. You can read more on the digital edition here.
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