Catering equipment sector pays respects to industry stalwart David Kirk

Tributes have been paid to catering equipment industry stalwart David Kirk following his death at the age of 64. David’s career in the catering industry started in the early 1980s with Smith and Wellstood, a company that was subsequently acquired by Hastings based manufacturer, WM Stills. David moved down to Hastings but, as was typical of the man, went home to Manchester every weekend until his family moved down in 1984. In 1987 David moved on to Oliver Toms before enjoying spells at both Moorwood Vulcan and Vision. From 2011 until his retirement in 2017 David worked at Catering Projects looking after the likes of Nandos, Wahaca, The Restaurant Group, Giraffe and Yo Sushi. Phil Martin, CEO of Cedabond, said: “David gave many people their first chance to come into the catering equipment industry, including me, and became a mentor for so many people who have gone on to be major influencers. He will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.” Other leading figures from the industry have also been quick to pay tribute to David. “David was an inspiration. His leadership, support, work ethic and sense of fun guided many people in the industry. But for David I know I wouldn’t have achieved a fraction of the things that I have, he always remain, simply the best.” said Clive Groom, managing director at CNG. Ian Simms, director at HF Contracts, said: “As my first boss when joining the industry fresh from university David could not have been a more inspirational guide. Not only in a professional capacity but in taking me under his wing and imparting a balanced work and play ethic which has held me in great stead throughout my career. As a mentor and as a man David was second to none.” Ian Gregory, regional sales manager, North West England at Welbit, added: “I knew David for over 40 years. He was a great colleague, great boss, great mentor, great customer but most of all great friend.” Mark Barnes, group managing director at Catering Projects, added: “The man who mentored, inspired and motivated me to achieve some of the crazy goals I have set myself throughout my career. His ability to change every negative into a positive is one that we should all try to master and remember. A true gentlemen and professional who will always be remembered.” David is survived by his wife Elaine, and two daughters. David’s funeral, followed by a private family committal, will be held at 12.15 on Thursday 23 August at St Augustines Chapel, St Michaels Hospice, Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards, East Sussex, TN38 0LB It will be followed by a wake at The Fisherman’s Club, EHSAA, The Stade, Hastings, TN34 3FJ

Tags : catering projectsdeathindustry
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas


  1. Really sad to hear of Kirky’s passing. A lovely guy, so generous with his time and advice. I was always amazed at his level of knowledge and attention to detail, particularly looking after so many demanding clients! I think the Costa ‘tiffin’s’ helped, and I will be having one his honor next time I am in. Thinking of his family and of course his extended family at CPL.

  2. David Kirk, what great man, he helped me and many others in their careers and always had a smile on his face.
    I worked for David at Oliver Toms Catering Equipment Ltd for many years and remember those happy days with fond memories.,
    Nigel Quince.

  3. Such a shock to hear about Daves passing. I worked with Dave at Toomeys for many years. He was a lovely person . I send my condolences to Elaine and the girls.
    Jackie Cannons

  4. Gosh. Just heard the news and what a sad loss. David used to walk past my house on his way to Man Utd football matches adorned in red and white. I then had an interview at Smith and Wellstood and was astonished to see David again all suited and booted who became my first boss.He was always laughing and had a huge sense of humour until he asked me to move his company car and i got it stuck in a multi storey! I send my condolences to Elaine and the girls.

  5. Wow, over 2 years later I stumbled on this new. David Kirk was a great boss and back in the 90’s I learnt so much from him about being honest and treating everyone as equals. I missed the opportunity of telling him this but his memory will always be with me. RIP mate. I will raise a glass to you and your family, David Foster

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