What started off as a small business, almost a hobby, designing and making luxury truckle trolleys, has seen a Sudbury company’s work sent across the World.
Thompson and Waterman’s cheese trolleys can now be found in some of the best restaurants and hotels on the planet.
Handcrafted by engineer Alan Waterman, the designs come from the passion of cheese lover and Sudbury-based restauranteur David J. Thompson.
The company started two years ago.
But as a busy business owner, running David’s Café Continental in Gainsborough Street, Mr Thompson is now finding he is having to split his time between his two passions.
“I just love it, I’ve got to scale down as the trolleys are really taking off,” he said.“It’s taking a lot of my time up.”
Customers of the café and delicatessen don’t have to worry, however, his focus still remains on serving the best food and drink possible at the adult only café.
David also a runs a small restaurant from the café on Friday nights.
Having taken off with the very best hotels across the world, with admirers including Albert Roux, the trolleys don’t come cheap.
They take between six and eight weeks to be made by hand, using the finest materials and come with a price tag to match.
One of the firm’s recent sales, and quite possibly the business’s finest trolley to date, the Negroni, cost new owners at the Dorchester Hotel in London £6,500, with a ‘standard’ truckle trolley costing around £3,500.
The trolleys are seen as a feature by customers, a point of interest for those with a lust for fine wine and expensive cheeses.
With an eye for business, and a will to share his passion for cheese far and wide, Mr Thompson is now working with another local engineer on creating a new range of cheese trolleys for a more affordable market, between £1,500 and £1,700 a piece.
Of course this isn’t cheap but then they are designed for and bought by some of the biggest names in the business.
Top-end trolleys have been bought by clients including Cheltenham Race Course which uses Mr Thompson’s creations for its royal visitors.
The Walkie Talking building in London has taken delivery at one its fine dining restaurants and two have recently been shipped to top hotels in Hong Kong.
“It’s exciting as this was always a dream,” said Mr Thompson. “If you like there was a gap in the market at the high-end. Nobody makes trolleys in real, sustainable hardwood.”
Mr Thompson said there is also a clamour for well-manufactured British goods, particularly in Asia.
“It’s coming along strong and it really is a wonderful feeling.”
For more information and to see examples of the trolleys visit www.cheesetrolley.com.