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Significant Expansion for Yorkshire Food Supplier

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Significant Expansion for Yorkshire Food Supplier

Significant Expansion for Yorkshire Food Supplier
August 29
09:23 2017

As part of its strategy to become the ‘go-to’ brand for quality, ethically-sourced ingredients in the North of England, Scarborough-based Stuart’s Foods has acquired Lincolnshire-based S Clift Grimsby in a deal that could eventually be worth £0.5million. Stuart’s – which now serves in excess of 800 customers across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire; employs 33 people; operates 18 delivery vans, and delivers more than 170,408 litres of milk and 527,467 kilograms of potatoes in a year – has taken on S Clift and its 13 Lincolnshire-based staff, and premises, as a going concern.

Stuart’s plans to invest a further £500,000 into S Clift over the next five years, with modernising upgrades including applying for industry food handling accreditations and new refrigerated vans. The purchase is likely to be the first in an ongoing acquisition process aimed at extending the footprint of Stuart’s through the acquisition of complementary businesses including, potentially, butchers, bakers, delis and food wholesalers.

The deal will extend the Scarborough company’s already extensive reach, to include major towns like Hull, York, Lincoln, Harrogate, Thirsk, Northallerton, Whitby, Malton and Skegness. The client base of the extended business now includes major players like North Yorkshire County Council; York Teaching NHS Trust (including the Scarborough and Malton hospitals); McCains; the Grimsby Institute college and Yorkshire Coast College.

“We’ve built up a strong understanding of the catering trade over the past four decades and we’re passionate about promoting and supporting the whole healthy eating agenda,” says Stuart’s managing director, Damian Howarth. “Our direct relationships with growers and other quality suppliers in our region mean we are able to source the best quality ingredients and deliver them to our clients with minimum road miles – straight from field to fork.”

He adds: “The acquisition of S Clift will support this by opening up a new network of suppliers and customers on the south bank of the Humber. It was a natural fit for us, as a very customer focused business with a strong reputation and heritage like our own.”

Stuart’s Foods is now run by Damian Howarth and his sister Samantha, supported by Damian’s wife Michelle and a very focused team in Scarborough.

Stuart’s founder Stuart Howarth was a butcher and cash and carry manager by trade, before he hit on the opportunity in 1981 of supplying fresh prepared chips to restaurants – to replace the frozen variety that was prevalent at the time. After five years specialising in this, it was a natural progression to extend its supply offering into the range of fruit and vegetables, spurred on by the same commitment to quality and freshness, and Stuart’s was born in 1986.

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