UK produce supplier Stuart's Foods buys wholesaler S. Clift Grimsby - Just Food
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UK produce supplier Stuart’s Foods buys wholesaler S. Clift Grimsby

21 Aug 2017

UK-based Stuart's Foods has acquired fruit and vegetable wholesaler S. Clift Grimsby in a GBP500,000 (US$645,000) deal.

UK produce supplier Stuart’s Foods buys wholesaler S. Clift Grimsby

UK-based Stuart’s Foods has acquired fruit and vegetable wholesaler S. Clift Grimsby in a GBP500,000 (US$645,000) deal.

Stuart’s Foods said it has plans to “significantly grow” both businesses and revealed it is looking for further “complementary” acquisitions.

Scarborough-based Stuart’s Foods sells fresh produce to more than 800 customers across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, including food producers such as frozen chips firm McCain Foods.

It has bought Grimsby’s S. Clift, which imports and distributes wholesale fruit and vegetables to the retail and catering trades, as a going concern.

Stuart’s plans to maintain the S. Clift name in recognition of its strong customer and supplier relationships.
 
At the same time, the company plans to invest a further GBP500,000 into S. Clift over the next five years, with upgrades including applying for industry food handling accreditations.
 
Stuart’s said the purchase is likely to be the first in an ongoing acquisition process aimed at extending its footprint through the purchase of businesses including, potentially, butchers, bakers, delis and food wholesalers.

Damian Howarth, the managing director of Stuart’s, 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.

“It [S.Clift] 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.”

Third-generation family business S. Clift Grimsby 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 was originally established in 1986 and is now being run by the second generation of the family.