Think of Bicester and you think of one thing and one thing only: Bicester Village.
Heck, it’s so damn popular they even built a railway station there. Still, that should hopefully make the queues back to the M40 on Boxing Day a few coach-loads shorter. Blimmin’ Londoners and tourists - coming here, stealing all our discounted designer clobber.
But anyway, we digress (slightly). If you have a poke round Bicester, you might just stumble upon three whopping great warehouses full of tonnes of fresh fruit, veg, dairy and bakery.
And if you did, that probably means you’ve only gone and found the Head Office of Fresh Direct - who just happen to be one of the UK’s biggest fresh food suppliers!
Their Bicester depot is one of the key hubs of their operation, has been the HQ since 2001 and is also home to their prepared food teams, Fresh Prep and The Kitchen.
So what got did?
Well, in 1966 John Harris and Bill Hawkins started the business as a small shop in Bicester and a 3-tonne Austin lorry.
After 10 years, they had expanded to 32 shops. In the 80’s FreshGro (as it was known) grew into a fruit and vegetable wholesaler and in 1987, Bill retired from the business, leaving FreshGro as a 100% Harris family business.
This successful business kept growing to become less of a retailer and more of a supplier. They made one final tweak to the name – and so Fresh Direct was born! More space was needed for this rapidly growing business and in 2001 they constructed their brand new HQ in Bicester.
In July 2016, Fresh Direct was bought by Sysco, the world’s largest foodservice company. Even though they have new owners, this has not changed the way they run their business or their mission - they still like to think of themselves as that local fresh food seller!
They’re proud to be a non-corporate business that hasn’t forgotten it’s roots and still represents the same passion for quality, service and values that they were built on and that their customers can rely on – whether they’re a large, nationally-operating restaurant group or a small, independent village pub.
So what started out as just fresh produce and has grown to include a range of fruit, veggies, dairy and much more!
So from everyone here at Selective Recruitment, to everyone at Fresh Direct: WE SALUTE YOU!