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    SPAR wholesaler expands fresh range with Yorkshire herbs  

    Wilf Whittle, Fresh Trading Manager at James Hall & Co. Ltd, alongside Philip Dodd, Managing Director of Herbs Unlimited, with the new range of herbs for SPAR North of England stores

    James Hall & Co. Ltd has added tasty new herbs to SPAR North of England’s fresh range, sowing a new deal with North Yorkshire business Herbs Unlimited.

    The deal will see Herbs Unlimited initially supplying six popular herbs in basil, chives, coriander, curly parsley, mint, and rosemary.

    Available in a large 50g bag, the supply of herbs follows on from Herbs Unlimited introducing Yorkshire-grown curly kale to SPAR North of England stores through James Hall & Co. Ltd in December 2023.

    Herbs Unlimited was formed in 1993 when Alison Dodd, mother of current managing director Philip Dodd, changed career after spotting a gap in the market.

    She began growing herbs to sell directly to the hospitality sector when she found no consistency in the regular supply of fresh herbs to the restaurant where she was head chef.

    The business has blossomed in the three decades since and it is the only remaining commercial grower of fresh herbs in Northern England.

    Yorkshire-grown herbs are supplied between March and October and high-quality substitutes are imported during the winter months.

    From its base at Sandhutton near Thirsk, Herbs Unlimited grows a core range of 17 herbs, 28 speciality herbs, 16 varieties of edible flowers, and a range of salad and leaf vegetables including chard, kale, and spinach.

    It has become a go-to supplier for some of the country’s top chefs and high-end restaurants, and Wilf Whittle, fresh trading manager at James Hall & Co. Ltd, is thrilled to support the business as it takes its first steps into supplying retail directly.

    Whittle said: “We are very pleased to establish a partnership with the award-winning Herbs Unlimited. Like us, they are a family business, and this is a positive step forward in enabling us to add a range of high-quality fresh herbs to our strong fresh portfolio.

    “The Yorkshire-grown curly kale supplied by Herbs Unlimited has proven very popular in SPAR stores this winter, and has complemented our offering of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower as a nutritious addition to the dinner table.

    “Recent seasons have showed us that products like kale, cavolo nero, and spinach have seen growth in our stores. They are convenient ingredients that can be added to a number of meals, providing great taste and health benefits.

    “We want to naturally develop this range going forward and inspire more people to think about cooking fresh food when they enter our SPAR stores Northern England. When customers think of fresh, tasty herbs and vegetables, we want them to think of SPAR.”

    Dodd said: “We are very excited to launch our herbs into SPAR North of England stores. We felt the time was right for the business to move in the direction of retail supply for the first time and we are confident we have the right partner in James Hall & Co. Ltd.

    “For SPAR customers, this a unique opportunity to purchase the same fresh herbs in their local stores that end up on the plates of Michelin star restaurants. Our products deliver exceptional value and are packaged in vibrant branding that stands out in-store.

    “Herbs really can bring food to life during cooking, whether it is adding them to a quick midweek Bolognese sauce or impressing friends and family when hosting at the weekend.

    “We have wonderful free draining sandy soils at our farm and herbs thrive in the conditions. All of this contributes to the quality and flavour of what we produce, and we are sure SPAR North of England customers will soon agree.”

    James Hall & Co. Ltd is a fifth-generation family business which serves a network of independent SPAR retailers and company-owned SPAR stores across Northern England six days a week from its base at Bowland View in Preston.

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