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Jiffy’s in a hurry to grow

CATERING firm Jiffy Foods has undergone a rapid expansion after just four months under new management.

The Welshpool-based business says it is pursuing growth and, under new managing director John Barnett, has signed a number of important deals for its wholesale operations.

While the company’s public face is its bread-and-butter ser-vice – delivering meals to worksites and offices around the metropolitan area – it also provides prepared food for a number of retail organisations, including Coles supermarkets and even some of Jiffy’s major competitors in the mobile food delivery industry.

The deal with Coles was set up under Jiffy’s previous management, but Jiffy’s administration manager Bill Rodway said the company had since signed a deal for BP outlets across Perth to stock the Briazz retail brand of food.

Numerous other smaller clients, such as suburban delis, have signed similar deals and Mr Rodway said the company was also negotiating to sign on a major client in the tourism industry. Such deals are changing the face of Jiffy Foods after 25 years in the business.

Celeste Corporation Pty Ltd, a company headed by Mr Barnett, bought Jiffy Foods from its former parent company, Catering Concepts Australia, in March this year. Mr Barnett, who came to Australia from the UK less than two years ago, is a property developer who seeks to buy underperforming companies and make them successful, Mr Rodway said.

Jiffy’s engine room – its production line, which is believed to be one of the largest in WA – is also to play its part in the company’s growth strategy. It has been set a target of preparing 10,000 units (rolls and sandwiches) every shift, of which there are three each day, seven days a week.

In addition, Jiffy’s has partially rebadged its existing fleet to raise awareness of the change in ownership, and the company intends to expand its 70-strong contingent of delivery vans by a further 15 to 20 vehicles in the next few months.

Mr Rodway said the trucks would be on the road “as quickly as we can acquire them”, and a number of the food-storage modules that are attached to the trucks were already built and awaiting a moving partner.

“We want to grow the business and we want to grow all aspects of the business,” Mr Rodway said.

“We’ve got a fair section of the market catered for geographically, but there’s always new areas that aren’t as fully tapped as they could be.

“It’s just one of those situations where we believe the market can take the expansion, and we’re backing ourselves by organising for extra vans to go out there.

“I think it’s probably fair to say the business was on a bit of a slide for quite a while before we took over, and we’ve been in the fortunate position of being able to turn that around and grow within the first two or three months, which is very pleasing.”

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