Mike Thompson, Wiltshire Farm Foods, County Durham

We were looking to diversify our homecare and hot meal delivery business and the Wiltshire Farm Foods frozen food delivery franchise mirrors our existing business. It operates in a niche market, we like the products and we already have the skills and the resources.

We also have the contacts and the experience in providing care and are in touch with our local council and community. People want the independence of staying in their own homes rather than moving into residential care, which the government is also pushing for. By supplying them with frozen meals we can help them to achieve that.

People don't like change, especially the elderly, so when we took over the existing Wiltshire Farm Foods Durham territory our biggest challenge was keeping customers happy, which I think we have achieved. Having run the hot meal and frozen meal delivery service simultaneously since October we now only provide frozen meals. When we stopped our hot meal delivery service we managed to retain 80 per cent of our client base. Operating three vans we currently deliver to approximately 90-140 customers per day.

The support has been brilliant. We can pick up the phone to head office at anytime at no extra cost. The business has seen a dramatic increase in customers and turnover and we hope to have increased turnover by a third by the end of December and are aiming to double the business within 12 months. Find out more about Wiltshire Farm Foods on page 68. Read other Franchisee Diaries