Scarborough food firm makes £500,000 expansion

The deal expands the business by double, with further ambitious growth plans for the next five years.
The deal expands the business by double, with further ambitious growth plans for the next five years.

Scarborough-based Stuart’s Foods has acquired S Clift Grimsby Limited in a deal that could eventually be worth £500,000.

Stuart's, which serves in excess of 800 customers across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, has taken on the firm and its 13 Lincolnshire-based staff and premises as a going concern.

“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,” said 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.

“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 acquisition of S Clift will support this by opening up a new network of suppliers and customers on the south bank of the Humber."

Stuart’s, based in Dunslow Court, was originally established in 1986 and currently 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.

At the same time, the company plans to invest a further half-a-million pounds 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.

Damian said: “It was a natural fit for us, as a very customer focused business with a strong reputation and heritage like our own.

“Acquiring S Clift now gives us an opportunity to cross-fertilise between it and Stuart’s.

“Our existing business benefits from a new set of suppliers and customers, while we can introduce new product lines into S Clift, to enhance its offering, as well as bringing some of its infrastructure, systems and processes into line with contemporary requirements such as STS, SALSA and Red Tractor standards.”

“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.”