Ron Neville, founder and MD of Preston-based CHR Foodservice Equipment, is retiring after 50 years in the catering equipment business.
Drawing on his vast experience in the food service industry, Ron established CHR in 1993 with his wife Ann, as a family business. Ann, CHR financial director, is also retiring.
The Nevilles have worked as equal partners from day one, steering the company successfully through the good times and the bad.
Ron is passing on the mantle of CHR MD to his son Paul and Paul’s wife and CHR co-director Catherine, with whom he has built up a business that specialises in designing and installing energy efficient, cutting edge kitchens to a cross section of clientele including Kidderminster Chef’s Academy; Appleby Manor Hotel; Claridges; Aidan Byrne of Manchester House and Daniel Clifford of Midsummer House.
Under Ron’s leadership CHR has achieved accreditations including ISO 9001, 14001, 18001 and BIM Level 2 ahead of implementation date, as well as racking 12 CEDA Grand Prix awards since 2009. The latest awards saw two CHR apprentices honoured in CEDA’s Rising Stars category.
Ron and Ann leave the company in great shape, with CHR employing 12 people and having enjoyed its best year yet, with turnover in 2015 expected to reach approximately £5m.
Paul paid tribute to his parents, saying: “How do you try and sum up 21 years of working with your mum and dad? Anyone who has worked with Ron will tell you what a great and honourable man he is. He is a true gentleman and a real ambassador for us all at CHR and the wider industry: his love for our industry as a whole and the people around him is infectious. Quite simply, Ron is irreplaceable. Mum worked more behind the scenes maintaining control of the finances and the offices. Everyone felt secure that all bases were covered – they were both invaluable.
“So, all the team at CHR will be raising a glass or two to massively thank Ron and Ann for 21 fantastic years. Their legacy to CHR is creating so much more than a business; it is a family and we will continue to focus on those values and principles going forward.”