Cathy Wilcox has today announced her retirement from Wilcox Burchmore and the catering industry; she’ll be leaving the Ruislip-based kitchen design house at the end of October.
Having started with Compass Services in 1980 following her HND at Oxford Brookes, she was an administrator in the design and planning department when she was spotted by Staines Catering. After working for them for several years she joined Masters and Andren.
Wilcox reflected: “It was an amazing time of my career – the maxim being ‘work hard, play hard, and makes lots of money’, along with the only rule ‘work comes first, second and third in your life’ – though that wouldn’t go down well in today’s working culture!”
She then returned to Staines Catering as general manager before switching to the projects side where she worked for Prisma before joining the Carford Group in Bournemouth, spending a 10-year stint there honing her skills.
It was whilst at McFarlane Telfer from 2010-2011 that she met Michael Burchmore, and when the design department unexpectedly closed and they were both made redundant, Wilcox Burchmore rose ‘Phoenix-like’ from the ashes.
Wilcox said: “The last 10 years since we started Wilcox Burchmore have been the best years of my working life. I’ve got the best business partner I could have wished for. Not only is he the best designer I’ve ever met, but we share the same values of openness and honesty, paying all suppliers on time and treating the engineers with respect, as well as ensuring our clients are kept abreast of any problems along with way – and then solutions.”
Since January 2019 she has also been a board member at CEDA.
But it was during the pandemic that Wilcox, who describes herself as a ‘workaholic’, realised that she enjoyed having more spare time, albeit enforced at that point, and that by retiring she would be leaving the distributor in the safe hands of Burchmore.
Burchmore himself commented: “I’m fortunate to be taking over a company that has such an excellent reputation, both with clients and suppliers, and I’m looking forward to taking Wilcox Burchmore forward.”
The company’s head office will be moving to Maidenhead and Burchmore will be looking to increase the sales team as he explores new sectors.
“The future is really exciting,” he said. “We will grow Wilcox Burchmore to an even stronger position.”