BREAKING NEWS: Hopkins falls victim to harsh trading environment

Hopkins Catering Equipment has been forced to cease trading.

Leeds-based dealer Hopkins Catering Equipment is now in the hands of administrators after being forced to close its doors yesterday.

Local restructuring and advisory service Geoffrey Martin & Co will be handling the business’s closure process.

MD Victoria Hopkins told Catering Insight: “This situation came about because of a multitude of reasons. The trading environment has not been great, especially in the fish and chip sector.

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“Thanks to the harsh winter and hot summer, potato crops have been affected and costs have risen for fish and chip outlets, most of which are small, lifestyle businesses. Therefore they have been reluctant to place orders for equipment.

“The online trade is also very competitive, with small margins. We did have a healthy orderbook but unfortunately we hit a cash flow wall.”

Hopkins detailed that she tried to put the family business up for sale as a going concern, but could not find a buyer.

“We would have had to make lots of staff redundant to continue, and the redundancy costs were high, so we had to make the very difficult decision to close.”

Describing both the family business owners and its staff as “heartbroken”, she said that Hopkins Catering Equipment would not be going down a pre-pack administration route or re-appearing in another guise.

“This started as my grandad’s company, it’s a true family business and we are all devastated,” she added.

The insolvency practitioners will now be managing the creditor situation, including debts owed to any suppliers and manufacturers in the catering equipment industry.

Tags : dealerdistributorhopkinsinsolvencyliquidation
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls


  1. Sad to see such an iconic brand close its doors, its been a really tough year for all within the industry. As a Leeds based business, if we can assist any staff affected through this tough time, then please do drop us a line. We have a catering equipment base in Leeds and food businesses in Leeds and locally in Hemsworth also.

  2. This is so sad I really feel for the family who are so well respected by their staff many very long serving. Good luck to Victoria her family and the lovely team from Hopkins I hope that you all can move on and get through this tough time xx

  3. Having experienced it myself, you have my total sympathy. The most painful thing I ever had to do. If it’s any comfort, there is a life after catering equipment and when the dust settles and the grief isn’t so debilitating, there is an opportunity to make a fresh start. I wish you all the luck in the world.

  4. Hopkins, such a well known and respected family business, a really sad day for those involved and the industry as a whole.

  5. You saw this coming and continued to deceive the people that supported you through the good times! It’s a shame that the “friends” will be paid and everyone else will have to fight to survive and claw back the money owed to them. This happens every year and innocent hard working businesses get caught in the cross fire.

  6. why the sympathy? – Hopkins have contributed to their own downfall by being one of the major internet ‘pile it high sell it cheap’ brigade – unbelievable really! Live by the sword, die by the sword!

  7. This unfortunately is a sign of the times we are in , internet trading has smashed margins, a lot of family business owners relied on trade because of the back up customer service they could offer but now that is no longer a consideration to most customers. Little do they realise there will soon be no reliable service network on a local basis and the highly skilled engineers and fitters will be replaced by less experienced people whose priorities might not be repairing but replacing as it’s becoming a throwaway society,

  8. Dear Victoria, a very difficult time for you and your team, I hope that your support and your advisors sort things out so as to limit any further stress and losses to you and all concerned. Best wishes Vita

  9. We as a frying range competitor of Hopkins must say we are very sorry to hear about the folding up of such a iconic name in our industry, no one wants to hear these things happen even if you are in competition with each other, we wish Victoria and her family who I know personally our very best Regards and wish them all better things to come in the future
    Terry Cowell
    Mallinsons of Oldham Limited

  10. I spent over 15 years working at Hopkins Ltd, we were all passionate about the quality of the frying ranges we manufactured, the directors of the company treated all their employees as part of their family and this is a massive loss to Hopkins. I am certainly going to miss working with such lovely people.

    Sales office administrator

  11. People have lost their jobs numpty!
    Lets hope you don’t ever experience that before Christmas eh?If you have you’ll know its not very nice.
    Bah Humbug!

  12. I’ve already posted this on LinkedIn, It’s tough out there and anybody who says it’s not is simply bullshitting, Hopkins no doubt succumbed to what we are all experiencing………….

  13. I purchased a part on the 14th and you took my money on the day you went under! How can you do such a thing like that? More respect if you were honest!

  14. A very very respected man was vince and his wife and the rest of the family please dont let the company die it deserves more respect anybody rember the kent dish washer i bloodie do

  15. Such a sad time for everybody at Hopkins and I am glad that most of the comments here have been supportive of Victoria and Chris and the family. Nobody puts their hard work and a large chunk of their lives into a business to see it fail; they would have tried everything possible to save the business and help the employees – all of whom were treated as family. I wish them and their employees the best of luck in these tough and lonely times. Victoria, Chris – you have my deepest respect.

    1. Hopkins website may still be allowing you to place orders on-line, but you will notice that it will not process your payment.

  16. Victoria
    So sorry to hear of the loss of your family business. I remember you well from the CEDA conferences as your generosity from your bids at my auctions was always well received.
    I wish you and your family all the best for the future. I am so sad to lose such a nice person in the industry.
    Mike Barnes – South Coast Catering Equipment

  17. We are also a small family company that did work for you going back to July. We thought it strange that you stopped using our competitors and came to us, now we know why.
    What gets me is your lack of honesty. You have not been taking calls for weeks when you know who is calling. I PM’d Victoria recently asking what’s wrong and got no answer. Your project manager Kevin who we though was a friend also stopped taking calls some time ago. The very least you could have been is honest. If it was my company I would have phoned my creditors personally and apologised instead of hiding behind the administrators

    1. Kevin stopped for Hopkins some time ago so that would answer why he wasn’t returning/answering your calls. Secondly i would like to hope that you are never placed in the difficult and heartbreaking decision that Victoria was in. You can’t say how you would act in a situation until you have been in it yourself.

  18. Having both worked in association with Hopkins for many years, Supplying and Installing Fish Frying Ranges, we continued to order spare parts through our own service network, it truly is a shame, no one likes to see a company fail and the Internet does not help, however what happens to the manufacture of such quality fryers, they was a market leader and had a lions share of the Industry, it is a sad and difficult time when something like this happens having been there years ago ourselves, you try to hold onto a sinking ship, but it finally sinks, a good company lost, Gary Sharman

  19. Thought they could have more respect for customers sold me a faulty fat fryer promised Us my full refund that they Had Received from From Lincat must of known this situation but still did not refund £2880 they promised. We are small village pub just stinks when they have had the refund no fryer no refund no nothing my last contact with Hopkins promising my refund on November 2nd 2018 SO is that how you treat you long serving customers Shame on you

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