The Veg Factor
The Veg Factor are a Leicestershire based and Beech family-run wholesaler who supply fresh produce from local farms and producers.
Stuart Beech started The Veg Factor in 2009 on the back of many years of experience catering for this sector and has created a range of products from understanding what the chef needs on a day to day basis.
As a relatively large company that is part of a University, procurement rules can often make it difficult to work with relatively small producers. We had been guilty in the past of falling back on the convenience of national purchasing consortia in order to get a good standard of produce that was in a reliable supply chain. Over the years, we'd watch the likes of Mark Hix and Rick Stein championing their food heroes as they toured the country. We'd watch as Sat Bains won his second star just a few miles away with ultra-local dishes like NG11 and scratch our heads as to how we could connect with our fabulous local produce. Initially it was very hard to find small producers that we could work with that didn't want cash on delivery and had the stability of supply we needed.
The breakthrough came via a chance encounter at the Leicester Business Awards where we ended up sitting next to John’s House & Stonehurst Farm. John’s House is Leicestershire’s first Michelin Starred Restaurant and, naturally, they took the award for Best Restaurant. John’s House is situated on a family owned farm called Stonehurst. Whilst the liquid refreshment was flowing - we'd just won Best Team in the county for Holywell Park - we mused that, for such a big farm, the restaurant couldn't use all the produce and perhaps we could buy some for our venues. After a couple more glasses and several emails later, we were introduced to Stuart at The Veg Factor.
Being based locally, he was able to act as "middle man" to get the fabulous potatoes from the farm to us. Stuart explained that he had previously been a chef and had moved into his current role after spotting a niche in the market for connecting businesses with a network of local and artisan producers.
He quickly went about sourcing our long wish list of products that were unattainable through national supply chains. This really gave us the opportunity to find our voice and style at our various venues and now we get weekly market reports and updates of what the local forager is likely to find if we ask him to go out!
Download our Rooted In Food brochure
We love creating exciting menus that celebrate our local food heroes. That's why every proposal that we send out includes our Rooted in Food brochure to whet your appetite.
This brochure contains just a sample of the sort of menus we can produce for your event and is designed to give you a sense of our passion for great food. They are sample menus and are subject to change based on availability of produce.