The B2B outfit has changed its model
Labelling Craig Sheridan a “food industry guy” is both fair and also a tad inaccurate, because then you’d be forgetting his dabbles in real estate and Eastwood, the downtown Vancouver cycle studio that he and his wife, Jill, founded in 2014.
But Sheridan has spent most of his professional life involved in food—from his early years working at his grandfather’s meat manufacturing company to becoming a VP with industry giant Sysco Canada. So a couple of years ago, it was likely no surprise to those who knew him when he started Legends Haul, a Coquitlam-based B2B distribution service that counts grocers as well as high-end restaurants like Chambar and Nightingale among its clients.
Of course, those businesses have shut their doors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it didn’t take long for Legends Haul to completely remodel toward a direct-to-consumer operation.
“We pivoted real quick—basically two weeks ago—and it’s gaining a lot of steam,” Sheridan says. “We knew there was a need for safe, convenient access to healthy food during this time. So for us, it was really about getting access to those same top-quality products and ingredients used by these restaurants.”
Sheridan and his team quickly adopted a program that would let people order things like Café Medina’s famous waffles and Kissa Tanto’s white duck ragu sauce.
Not only has that helped those restaurants keep employing people, but Legends Haul has had to step up its own operations because of demand. Sheridan estimates that his payroll has grown about 20 percent, to some 40 employees, with some new staff members coming from restaurant clients.
“Thankfully, we’ve had better access to talent than we’ve ever had,” he says with a tone of disbelief. Sheridan also notes that the company has been “flooded with requests from local farms and local producers who are trying to keep their staff operating. We’ve bolted on probably 100 products in two weeks.”
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