BUILDING staff engagement and pride in being part of the business will drive food and drink wholesaler JW Filshill’s plans to double in size by 2031, its chief executive Simon Hannah has said.

Speaking to Lord Willie Haughey and Sir Tom Hunter on The Go Radio Business Show , Mr Hannah – the fifth generation of his family to run the independent firm based at Hillington – said: “Having stability and confidence that there is a plan post-Covid was really important to the business.”

Filshill, which owns the KeyStore convenience store brand and supplies independent retailers across Scotland and the north of England, was recently named Most Outstanding Business of the Year at the Glasgow Business Awards. It secured the prestigious accolade alongside the awards for Family Business of the Year and Health and Wellbeing at the event, organised by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve had a record year of growth servicing convenience stores and grew the business both in terms of turnover and profit,” Mr Hannah said. “Building a 10-year strategy in the middle of Covid when we had never been busier and creating a mental health and wellbeing programme for all of our colleagues to align to has contributed to that.”

All staff were asked for input as to where they see the business in the future, he noted. “We got some amazing ideas, including from people who have been with the business for many years,” said Mr Hannah, “and we came up with a 10-year target, a three-year picture and a one-year plan which is subsequently broken down into four 90-day bursts.”

Being a family business, he added, gave the wholesaler greater flexibility. “Family businesses have good cultures typically and they can plan long-term, they can take decisions for the benefit of their colleagues. Our company values are very clear and all or our decisions are based on those core values.”

Filshill, which saw turnover soar to £191 million – up 23% from £155m – in the year ending January 31, 2021, will relocate to a 120,400sqft purpose-built distribution centre at Westway Park near Glasgow Airport early next year.