Matt Hopkins, the brother of former Hopkins Catering Equipment MD, Victoria Hopkins, is to salvage some of the resources from the defunct distributor with a new company launch.
On the National Federation of Fish Fryers’ Facebook page, he posted: “Hopkins Frying Ranges will shortly be open for business.
“Manufacture of the highest quality fish and chip shop equipment will commence within the next few days, as well as servicing, maintenance, repair and supply of spare parts.”
He added: “The last few weeks have been a devastating time for both the Hopkins family, and the team of incredible, hardworking and loyal staff that we were fortunate to work with, many of them for decades.
“It is with great pleasure that I can now share this much happier news, both with our customers, and the industry where the Hopkins name commanded so much respect.”
Matt is being partnered by a longstanding customer for the launch. Ferhat Akkaya, director of the Fishy Delishy small chain of fish and chip shops in Cheshunt and Potters Bar, is backing the new Hopkins Frying Ranges.
Just last week, Leeds-based insolvency specialist Geoffrey Martin & Co was appointed as Hopkins Catering Equipment’s administrators. Matt revealed: “We have been successful in buying the assets from the liquidators and are now in a position to start afresh, providing jobs for as many of the ex-employees as we possibly can.”
He detailed: “Since the recent sad events, the messages of support and encouragement from customers and suppliers alike across the industry have been truly amazing. I have never been prepared to accept that this was the end of a family business that I am incredibly proud of and worked tirelessly to achieve its resurrection.
“I have personally been in touch already with a number of previous Hopkins customers who bought frying ranges within the last year and assured them that the new company will be honouring their warranties. This will apply to all customers with frying ranges still in warranty.
“My family has acted honourably throughout the closure of Hopkins; customers who had placed deposits for ranges due to be delivered in the New Year were refunded so they did not lose their money.”
Victoria Hopkins and the other original owners and directors of Hopkins Catering Equipment are not involved in the new business, but she commented: “We wish Matthew and his partner every success. We’re proud of what he’s achieved and of the fact he is striving to keep the Hopkins values and legacy alive.”
Matt responded: “I am incredibly proud of Victoria and the hard work she has always done. Hopkins Frying Ranges will indeed continue the values and legacy of the company started by Vince, our grandfather, and continued by Chris our dad, then by Victoria as a hugely respected and admired MD. I wish that she could be a part of the new company but know that she will go onto great things elsewhere.”