Inverness-based fresh produce provider Swansons Food Wholesalers is now among the growing number of employee-owned businesses in Scotland, as now over 40 staff have been given a stake in the business.
The company supplies locally-grown produce to independent hotels, restaurants and shops across the Highlands, and also holds contracts for care homes, schools, nurseries and colleges in the area.
At the beginning of 2020, Swanson received an offer for the business from a larger wholesaler based in the south. While he determined that the offer wasn’t right, it prompted him to begin considering his eventual exit from the business.
Magnus Swanson (Founder and Managing Director) said: “When it comes to considering your exit, one of the most obvious options is a trade sale, however, I was concerned that selling to a remote buyer might see one of the branches closed, staff laid off, or clients resigned. We have a loyal and long-serving team at Swansons, and I wanted to ensure their jobs were secure - it was at this point that I began to consider employee ownership.”
Swanson continued: “Although the Covid crisis has presented a lot of uncertainty, like many businesses we continue to adapt to the changing circumstances, and we didn’t let it deter us from making the move to employee ownership.