Food retailer makes £0.5m investment in new kitchen

Chef Carl Johannesson (centre) who has been appointed SPAR NI's first in-house chef alongside Fresh Food Director, Neal Kelly (right), and Chairman of the Henderson Group, John Agnew.
Chef Carl Johannesson (centre) who has been appointed SPAR NI's first in-house chef alongside Fresh Food Director, Neal Kelly (right), and Chairman of the Henderson Group, John Agnew.
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Henderson Wholesale has purchased kitchen facilities and created 14 new jobs, including Spar NI’s first in-house head chef, in a £0.5m investment.

Chef Carl Johannesson, who has more than 20 years’ experience including executive chef at the James Street South Group, will lead a team of cooks who have designed and developed a new range of products that completely redefine the current retail offering of homemade meals at a new kitchen in Randalstown.

The Chef range is a collaboration between Henderson’s Wholesale and Foodservice operations using local suppliers K&G McAtamney, Bradmount Foods, Elmore Fish Ltd., Big Pot Co. and Daily Bake.

The range includes 35 mains and sides which includes family favourites such as beef Bolognese, fish pie and lasagne alongside world flavours such as risotto and stroganoff, curries and chowders,

Neal Kelly, Fresh Foods Director at Henderson Group, said: “For over 120 years, we have been supplying food to the convenience sector, sourcing as much as we can locally. We have continued to invest significantly in ranges which bring out the best local food producers Northern Ireland has to offer.

Carl added: “It is an exciting time to bring my 20 years of restaurant cooking experience to Spar NI’s kitchen and to create both global and local dishes using local ingredients, on a retail scale. We’re confident to be bringing this level of quality food to local stores.”