Scarborough-based fruit and veg wholesaler, Stuart’s Foods, has acquired its Lincolnshire competitor, S Clift Grimsby Ltd.
The takeover deal will see the business double, with further ambitious growth plans for the next five years.
There are plans to invest a further £500,000 in to S Clift, including upgrades to meet required industry accreditations and new refrigerated delivery vans.
This is the first part of a larger strategy to expand into new territories and improve the current product offering, which could include the acquisition of butchers, baker, and delis.
Stuart’s is on a mission to become the ‘go-to’ brand for quality, ethically-sourced ingredients in the North.
The business 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.
Stuart’s Managing Director, Damian Howarth, said: “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.”
“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.
“Many of our local authority clients in particular have quite strict requirements around food standards, and this means that we are able to take care of this for them and help them meet their targets.”
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.
Damian continued: “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.
“We’re proud to say that Stuart’s Foods has gone from strength to strength over the past 30 years since our parents set it up and this deal represents the beginning of what we hope will be a phase of serious expansion through acquisition.”
S Clift Grimsby Limited is a third-generation family business that was originally set up in 1927. The opportunity for Stuart’s to purchase it came up after the most recent owner wanted to retire at 67 and his children were no longer interested in running the business.
Stuart’s Foods was originally established in 1986 and is now a second generation family business with a client list including hotels, restaurants, local authorities, food producers and staff canteens.