A BURY food and drinks wholesaler is bidding for further growth after winning a major deal with a northern university.

Dunsters Farm clinched the contract with Newcastle University with support from GC Business Growth Hub.

The third-generation family firm based in Waterfold Park, has been supplying a wide range of businesses – including hotels and restaurants, catering and hospitality companies, schools, colleges and hospitals – for 60 years.

But when the Government announced a national lockdown in March, many customers needed to shut their doors and the business had to adapt quickly or face the possibility of closure.

After working with the hub’s digital innovation team though, the business launched Dunsters Farm Shop, an e-commerce site which sold directly to consumers for the first time and has since kickstarted the company’s digital transformation.

Under the management of siblings Hannah Barlow, joint managing director, and Tom Mathew, commercial director, the outfit is now set for further expansion including a new contract win and new product launch.

The company, which has historically supplied food and drinks to schools and colleges, is now entering the Higher Education market after winning a tender with Newcastle University.

Bosses say they are also set to launch 23 cleaning products for kitchens, adding to its current range of non-food items.

Hannah said: “Through working with GC Business Growth Hub we have transformed the business in six months to a digital operation.

“Being able to stay open during the first lockdown – and supply consumers with necessities such as pasta, flour, fresh fruit and vegetables – not only meant that we were able to pivot, but also keep jobs and help our local suppliers and customers and futureproof the business.

“We are in a better place than we were six months ago, and the work in transforming our digital operations has meant we were able to continue to expand and diversify."