Gloucester Services on the M5 is no ordinary motorway service station - it is an experience with a very different business model.
That experience is based on the philosophy of owners The Westmorland Family, whose chairman, Sarah Dunning, says:
“We are not just a motorway service business - we think we are a food business. We make our money from food, and we are a food business that happens to be on a motorway.”
The food experience has been developed through working with 130 food producers within 30 miles plus a further 70 in the South West region.
“We search tirelessly for fantastic, unique food producers”, said Sarah. ”To a certain extent we see our job as helping those small food businesses grow.
“We have started with one man bands and they have grown with us into six man bands and ten man bands”.
The north services on the M5 opened on 17 May 2014 and its business model is derived from a partnership with the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust headed up by Mark Gale.
Mark brought Westmoreland the opportunity to build the services seeking to create a sustainable income for his charity.
“That was the genesis of the project”, said Sarah. ”It was never just us-it was always Mark and us.”
Mark Gale first contacted Westmoreland, who also run the Tebay Services in Cumbria, back in 2007.
Since then, it has taken seven years for Gloucester Services to get up and running and the Gateway Trust now receives half a million pounds a year for their six beneficiary charities which have a focus on the communities of Matson, Tuffley, Podsmead, White City and Stonehouse.
Gloucester Services North and South now employs around 400 people with a four million footfall. Total turnover of Gloucester Services and Tebay in Cumbria is now over £85 million.
Sarah Dunning, chairman of The Westmorland Family group will be talking about the Gloucester Services story and her family’s business philosophy at a Business West networking breakfast at the newly refurbished Bowden Hall Hotel, Upton St Leonards on Thursday 23 November.