Supporting independent caterers every step of the way – A message from Coral Rose, managing director of the Country Range Group.

Stir it up is created by the Country Range Group to give support to our customers through helpful advice, product news, recipe ideas and lots more.

The Country Range Group is a collective of foodservice wholesalers covering the whole of the UK and Ireland, each a family-owned business which has been serving caterers in and around their local community for many generations. Originally coming together to improve their buying power and allow them to provide the best pricing, the Group went on to expand its offering to include an industry-leading own brand, along with a range of marketing services, including Stir it up, which is widely regarded as the best customer magazine in foodservice.

The magazine reflects what is happening in the industry and we could not ignore current events. The coronavirus pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on the globe- an unprecedented event like no other.

In March 2020, the UK Government announced measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the UK including, in particular, social distancing and a ‘lockdown’.

Whilst we understand the need to protect health and curb the disease, this has had an enormous economic effect. The hotels, restaurants, garden centres, coffee shops, leisure sites and pubs that we serve have all had to close their doors and stop trading. Schools, nurseries, colleges and universities all went into lockdown too, with schools opening only for the children of key workers. Meanwhile our customers within the health and welfare sectors are under increased pressure as they stay on the front line to care for the vulnerable.

It is an unprecedented time – but you are all doing a brilliant job. YOU are the inspiration for our front cover this month. We’re here for heroes… like you. The contents of this issue of Stir it up are focused on providing advice, inspiration and ideas to help you through this most difficult of times.

Like our customers, our member wholesalers adapted quickly, changing their offer to help support changing business models. We continue to provide an excellent service, providing whatever is required whether to care homes, hospices, hospitals or packing up food parcels to deliver into the community.

We will support you now and when the hospitality market is allowed to re-open, we’ll be here to help with the re-start. As I write this, we have no idea when that will be and it may take a while to understand the long-term impact coronavirus will have on our industry.

What I can say with absolute certainty is that the Country Range Group wholesalers remain committed to serving our customers and Stir it up magazine will continue to educate, inform and inspire you.

If you’re looking for a regular source of menu inspiration, then follow us on social media.