15/06/2004 - 22:00

Gusto

15/06/2004 - 22:00

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Blue Cow Cheese Company’s growth is set to continue with the launch of a new gourmet products division, Blue Provedore, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.

Gusto

Blue Cow Cheese Company’s growth is set to continue with the launch of a new gourmet products division, Blue Provedore, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.

The Blue Cow Cheese Company hopes to replicate its success in importing and selling quality cheeses in a new venture, Blue Provedore.

The new division, focusing on importing and selling gourmet products (other than cheese), started this week and according to Blue Cow Cheese Company director Nicholas Bath the move is aimed at growing what has become a popular product category.

“One of the reasons we decided to do Blue Provedore is we get people asking us to order things because we have this name in the marketplace for quality product,” Mr Bath says.

“Blue Cow is a specialist cheese company and we wondered how we could replicate that. The idea was to keep the same back office infrastructure and the most effective way to do that was to create a division with its own name that will be clearly identified with Blue Cow.

“We really researched it and thought we should have a dedicated person leading that area so that the cheese business is separate. We still want to maintain the service and quality to our cheese business.

“We want to be a specialist in a couple of different markets in the industry.”

Mr Bath has appointed Catherine Longmuir to head up the new division.

“She’s a former pastry chef and has recently been working at Ogilvie and Co, so she has good food service experience and good retail experience,” Mr Bath says.

“Chefs are always searching for new ideas, so having someone like Catherine here who knows how to use these products and how they can be used in recipes really helps us.”

Blue Provedore has a range of products, from olives and preserves to pasta and gingerbread men that will grow over time, according to Mr Bath.

“The South Australian Government organised to meet with me and I met with producers there wanting to export product, so at the moment our core range comes from South Australia, but we will do more,” he says.

“We will talk to anybody and look to find quality product.”

It has been six years since Mr Bath started up Blue Cow Cheese Company, which now turns over $3.5 million annually.

It has grown faster than Mr Bath had expected, and while there’s been a few tough hurdles along the way, including the significant impact to the business with the loss of his wife, Pippin, to breast cancer in 2002, the company is gearing up for a new stage of growth.

“We are at the next phase. We are a small business moving into a medium sized business,” he says.

The company now employs 11 people and has recently moved into new premises that double the floor space and include purpose-built cool rooms.

Mr Bath, a WA Business News 40under40 winner, says establishing a buying group with companies in Melbourne and Sydney has been one factor that’s boosting business.

“It means that we can get cheese shipped from France every fortnight, which we couldn’t do by ourselves because we couldn’t generate the quantity,” Mr Bath told Gusto.

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