North West business briefs: Suttons; SSO Logistics; Sambro Intl; Baltic Market; LFC; Turncoat Gin Distillery; Laces Out!

Widnes haulage firm, Suttons Tankers, has continued its three decade-long partnership with CF Fertilisers by introducing new nitric acid trucks into its fleet, in a £1.8m investment, backed by CF.

Suttons is responsible for transporting various products for CF, including nitric acid, ammonia solution, anhydrous ammonia, and weak ammonium nitrate. These products are loaded from Billingham and distributed to customers nationwide. The new investment encompasses the acquisition of 12 new nitric acid tanks and the refurbishment of four anhydrous ammonia tanks.

Suttons said the fleet investment will enable it to maintain service standards for CF’s customers, as the latest equipment will significantly decrease downtime.

Paul Blakeston, Head of Chemicals, said: “At Suttons, investing in our fleet is key. It helps us maintain excellent service and safety, which we’re proud of. We are excited to see where our partnership takes us in the future.”

Cameron Dewhurst, Supply Chain Manager at CF, said: “The tanker investment with Suttons exemplifies our focus on continuing outstanding service and customer experience, whilst keeping safety at the forefront.

“It also demonstrates our long term commitment to supplying the UK market, and Suttons are a key partner for us in achieving this.”


Martin Barber, left, and Peter Draper

A Merseyside logistics specialist has tied up a three-year contract with a packaging supply company to help service its new £3m production facility in Manchester.

SSO Logistics has secured a new contract with fellow St Helens company, Venturepak, which supplies injection-moulded plastic containers and other packaging products to the food industry. It is an extension of the original 12 month deal between the two firms and follows Venturepak’s success in winning a contract to produce ice cream containers for a household name brand.

These products are usually made abroad and imported, but Venturepak has invested £3m in a new manufacturing facility in Manchester to produce the containers itself. SSO is also providing British Retail Consortium (BRC) accredited warehousing facilities for Venturepak’s goods at its Haydock site. All shipments are transported through the Wolverhampton-based Pallet-Track network, where SSO works with other independent haulage companies to transport goods nationwide in an efficient way.

Martin Barber, director at Venturepak, said: “I’ve worked with SSO Logistics for a long time now, starting with a previous company I ran and bringing them along to Venturepak. Transportation is the biggest part of what we do and almost everything goes out through SSO, so this ongoing partnership is a hugely important part of our business.”

SSO Logistics director, Peter Draper, said: “The reason our partnership works so well is because Venturepak know they can call us day or night if they have any issues. It’s the comfort that comes from knowing there are people on the other end of the phone who care.”


Global supplier of licensed toys, Bury-based Sambro International, has announced a new contract partnership with long standing licensor, Paramount Consumer Products, delivering a range of plush and novelty collectable toys for Nickelodeon’s pop culture phenomenon SpongeBob SquarePants.

Product will be in-market in time for the 25th anniversary of the popular franchise, and Sambro will launch an initial portfolio of seven product lines across key UK and EU retailers such as B&M, AS Watson, Very and Forbidden Planet, amongst others. These include Puzzle Palz collectable 3D erasers, Squelchums novelty toys, 8cm and 30cm collectable plush characters – including a 25-year celebration plush – Paint your Own characters and Pop Up game.

The celebratory range will include a selection of 30cm plush characters from the animated series, including SpongeBob himself, Squidward, Patrick and Gary, with further SpongeBob glitter plush completing the collection. As part of Sambro’s sustainability commitments, all filling in its plush products is from 100% recycled polyester stuffing allowing it to gain full accreditation with global recycling standards. The packaging labels will also be FSC certified, further meeting Sambro’s ESG goals.

In the novelty and collectables sector, Sambro has developed a range of products including its popular own IP Puzzle Palz range. Clare Rix, Brand and Licensing Director at Sambro, said: “SpongeBob SquarePants is loved by so many, and we’re thrilled to be launching a brand new range of products just in time for its 25th anniversary for children and adult superfans alike. We’re confident that the products will be a success and not only further expand but complement our plush and own-brand novelty categories.”

Rebecca Jenkins, VP, Consumer Products, Paramount, said: “Sambro have done a fantastic job in bringing our beloved SpongeBob to life through on-trend product ranges that will be sure to surprise and delight fans and bring joy to many. Product will land at retailers across the UK and Europe from September in time to join our wider exciting 25th anniversary celebrations.”


Liverpool’s Baltic Market has unveiled its newest trader, the Liverpool burger sensation, Nashville Cluck.

Renowned for being one of the highest rated burger spots in the UK, Nashville Cluck was recently shortlisted for UberEats’ Restaurant of the Year Award and has overtaken huge chains including McDonald’s, KFC, Popeyes and Five Guys to become the most ordered on UberEats.

From May 1, Nashville Cluck will join the plethora of kitchens at the market including Hafla Hafla, Little Furnace, Spice Thai, Richie’s, La Bistroteca, Polpetta, Midnight Delivery and Press Bros. Since opening in June 2017, Baltic Market has welcomed more than 50 restaurants and in excess of 100 market traders, allowing small businesses, new concepts and independents to showcase their dishes to a broad audience.

Nashville Cluck opened on Myrtle Street in October 2022 with the hopes of creating the perfect Nashville chicken burger, one that is succulent, crispy and packed full of flavour. Going from selling 500 burgers a week, Nashville Cluck says it now sells more burgers than McDonald’s in Liverpool thanks to its carefully created showstopper, the Nashville Cluck Burger. A spokesperson said: “We’re so excited to be opening a second spot in Liverpool within Baltic Market.”

Oliver Press, co-founder of Baltic Market, said: “Baltic Market has always been a breeding ground for talent amongst our city’s hospitality scene. It’s bursting with amazing concepts but we were missing one thing … Fried chicken. Nashville Cluck is the perfect example of a start-up that has poured its heart and soul into creating the very best dishes for its guests and we can’t wait to welcome the team to the market.”


Mr Muscle, a brand of SC Johnson and an official sustainability partner of Liverpool Football Club, has revealed a fan ‘Walk of Fame’, to celebrate the collective muscle of fans who have helped contribute towards plastic recycling over the past three football seasons at Anfield.

The Walk of Fame has been created on Rockfield Road, a street that marks the iconic matchday walk to the stadium and pays homage to 12,848 fan names – representing the 12,848 plastic bottles that have been recycled every match day on average. This season more than 90% of plastic bottles sold at matches has been recovered as a result of fan recycling at Anfield.

To create the celebratory name-lined street sustainably, Mr Muscle has used reverse graffiti, where recycled plastic stencils have been laid and the surface has been partially cleaned to reveal the names, creating a tribute to thousands of dedicated match-goers who have worked together to ensure sustainability is as important on a match day as singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ or grabbing a half time pie.

Over the past three seasons of SC Johnson’s partnership with Liverpool an impressive 6.5 tons of single-use plastic have been recycled inside Anfield, equating to 12,848 plastic bottles recycled every match day. As a result of this, Mr Muscle has released a new limited-time-only LFC Window & Glass cleaning spray, made from 50% upcycled plastic from the stadium.

LFC Club Ambassador, Ian Rush, who inspired many iconic moments at Anfield, said: “It’s important to celebrate and thank the community of supporters who come to Anfield in their thousands and represent our community,” while a Mr Muscle spokesperson said: “We are incredibly proud of this partnership with Liverpool Football Club and all that the fans have managed to achieve over such a short period of time.”


Liverpool-based Turncoat Gin Distillery has launched reusable aluminium bottles which are 84% lighter than glass alternatives for its core range of products. This move is expected to save approximately 0.4kg of CO2 emissions per bottle, contributing to the distillery’s commitment to environmental responsibility.

Glass bottles have long been a staple in the spirits industry, but their production and transportation contribute significantly to carbon emissions. By shifting to reusable aluminium bottles, Turncoat is embarking on a more eco-friendly approach to packaging, reducing its carbon footprint and fostering a more sustainable future. While aluminium bottles have a slightly higher carbon footprint from manufacturing than glass, this is outweighed by their lifespan and weight saving.

Head of Distillery, Edward Ridding, said: “As a company deeply rooted in the vibrant city of Liverpool, we recognise the importance of sustainability and are committed to minimising our environmental impact. Aluminium bottles also offer a range of benefits for our stockists including reduction in breakages and improved product lifespan. This is the first of many changes here at the distillery as we work towards becoming carbon neutral.”

Aluminium is one of the most recyclable materials on the planet, with nearly 75% of all aluminium ever produced still in use today. By utilising reusable aluminium bottles, Turncoat Gin Distillery aims to significantly reduce waste while maintaining the highest standards of quality for its products.

Ridding added: “We believe that sustainability should be at the heart of everything we do. Our decision to launch reusable aluminium bottles reflects our dedication to creating a positive impact on the environment. We hope that our partners in the licensed on-trade can work with us to recycle, reuse and reduce their carbon footprints.”


Laces Out! is celebrating its 10 th anniversary in Liverpool with two huge events – and the first drops in on May 18. The city is hosting the biggest ever Laces Out! to date in one of Europe’s more influential get-togethers of sneaker culture.

The May 18 event at Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre includes activations from adidas and partners Sevenstore, cleaning activations and sneaker giveaways with official cleaning partner Crep Protect, a live podcast with The Sneaker Annexe, a ⁠live panel talk and DJ set with Edson Sabajo of Patta and the after party at Lost Art featuringa photo exhibition with Armen Djerrahian.

Founder, Rob May, said: “Myself and the team are incredibly proud to reach our 10th anniversary in 2024 with Laces Out! It’s been a wild journey so far and something which has grown each year, to Laces Out! now being one of the world’s defining events in sneaker culture and also one of Europe’s biggest, all under one roof here in Liverpool.”

He added: “We unite sneakerheads to explore an unparalleled selection of rare and exclusive trainers, limited editions and sought-after collaborations and for part 1 we’ve got some great collaborations happening.”

Since moving to Liverpool ACC last year, Laces Out! now offers an even bigger array of footwear options and the chance to connect with fellow enthusiasts from around the world who converge on Liverpool for this special day. The ACC enables Laces Out! to accommodate more guests, with thousands expected to attend the first part of the 10 th anniversary. The date for part 2 of the 10th anniversary will be announced soon.