The First Step
The 1960s was an exciting time for the culture of Britain. New migrant communities were arriving at its shores, carrying with them a spirit of adventure and hope for the future. Whilst they worked hard and began building new lives for themselves, these communities still missed the taste of back home. It was against this backdrop that in 1964, Tulsidas Wadhwani (‘Mr Wani’), combined his passion for good food with single minded determination to lay the foundations for Wanis International Foods, setting up a small retail shop in North London.
In the early days our range of World Foods included niche products such as Jamaican Ackee and African Fufu Flour. We quickly earned a reputation for sourcing hard-to-find ethnic products and as we grew, so did our range of products. The business transformed from a modest retail business, to supplying products in wholesale, which led to several relocations to bigger sites to keep up with the demand and increasing ranges. Our customer base continued to expand, growing day-by-day from being largely London-based ethnic retailers, to food businesses throughout the UK.
At The Half Way Point
Today Wanis is one of the UK’s leading distributors of World Food & Drink. Headquartered in a 120,000 sq. ft. depot in East London, we sell over 8,000 different product lines from all regions of the World, including Africa, the Caribbean, South America, Asia and the Far East. Our customers include all the major UK supermarkets, wholesalers and independent retailers of all shapes and sizes. We serve a variety of customers across the foodservice channel, from small ethnic restaurants and caterers, to much larger service organisations. And we’re not just importing anymore – we export to over 20 countries around the world. What hasn’t changed however is that we remain a family business (albeit a much bigger family) with family-values and personal service at our core.