Abel & Cole originally made contact with us back in March having seen our various products online and expressing interest. They were keen to try out some samples and discuss the range with us. Having provided detailed information and sent samples to their Head Office, we got some really great feedback from their tasting teams, and they initially identified seven products that they wanted to move forward with. Then began the process of negotiations around pricing, margins and quantities. We know that retailers often get a bad rap for taking advantage of suppliers and squeezing them dry, and although their buyers are tough, they were extremely fair agreeing on pricing that worked for both sides.
As we soon discovered though, that was just the easy part! Abel & Cole have what can only be described as an extremely rigorous and thorough supplier on-boarding process. They go to great lengths to ensure that all of their partners are responsible, ethical and safe producers. From understanding where ingredients are sourced (and ensuring nothing travels by air!), through the various manufacturing processes that are involved in the production, down to the material of the labels and the packaging, nothing is left undiscussed or undocumented.
We had to provide extensive documentation detailing everything from our HACCP safety plans, to our daily cleaning schedules. They basically performed a pretty comprehensive audit of the entire operation and would not approve us as a supplier until all the boxes were ticked and everything had been assessed by their internal teams.
Having thankfully passed with flying colours, we sent more samples off for product photography and received our first Purchase Order the same week – for over 1,500 units - and shipped out the pallet a few days later. Whilst the pallet was in transit, we received notification that our products were live on the website and ready for customers to order for the following week. It has to be said, Abel & Cole are running an extremely slick operation. Everything during the entire process ran like clockwork and they clearly have some very experienced people working with them.
All that remains is to hope that they have some customers interested in our products, and we look forward to a long and happy working relationship. You'll find us under their 'Health and Wellbeing' section if you'd like to take a look.