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Ex-Falcon sales director passes away

Colin-Nevitt crop
Industry stalwart Colin Nevitt sadly passed away aged 66.

Former Falcon Foodservice Equipment sales director Colin Nevitt sadly passed away earlier this month, aged 66.

His career at Falcon spanned over 30 years, and he served at several other major names including Glynwed, Aga, and most recently the Ali Group, until his retirement in January 2019.

Colin had entered the foodservice industry in the mid-1980s, when he joined Gardiner Wilkinson, who was then a prominent distributor in the market. His sales talents soon showed themselves and he was immediately successful as an area manager, working with dealers and end users in his own inimitable style.

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The start of Colin’s Falcon career came in July 1985. Working under sales director John Unwin, he joined the Falcon team as the areas sales manager for London and the South East. He quickly made an impression, and was soon promoted to the newly-created position of national accounts manager.  The first contract he won was with Bass (now Mitchells and Butlers), an account Falcon still holds. He was also equally successful in engaging with contract caterers and foodservice consultants, bringing Falcon new market opportunities and sales growth.

Colin’s proven sales abilities have always been held in high regard, and his achievements saw him once again promoted as Falcon’s national sales manager in 1991. It was of course also a natural succession for Colin to then step in to the role of Falcon sales director when John Unwin retired in 1996. Colin successfully led Falcon’s sales and business development team for almost 20 years. He remained the Falcon figurehead for the launch of many new products, as well as being Falcon’s ambassador at many of the industry exhibitions, and representing the company through the trade and professional associations.

More latterly his extensive knowledge and expertise had been focused on further expanding Falcon’s mainstay public sector business. His continued hard work, acumen and ‘sleeves rolled up’ approach once again brought Falcon success through its wholesale partners as well as public sector organisations such as the MoD and HMP.

He will always be remembered as pivotal to developing Falcon’s long term commercial contract solution for the prison service catering equipment and maintenance. This contract was secured by Colin some 12 years ago, and is still held by Falcon today.

Tim Smith, CEO of The AFE Group of companies, of which Falcon is a part, commented: “Colin was known by us all for his immaculate dress code, his honest values, and a professional and no-nonsense approach. He had a command and presence about him that marked him out in our industry.

“Most importantly however, for Falcon and its customers alike, he was the man who we could always rely on to get the job done. He was a hardworking and hugely respected colleague, and passionate about Falcon’s success. We had celebrated Colin’s recent retirement with many industry friends and were also delighted that he was able to join us for Falcon’s 200 year anniversary. It is such a tragedy that his retirement, and time to spend with his family, has been so short.”

Peter McAllister, Falcon’s MD, added: “Colin has left a fantastic legacy at Falcon through his hard work, professionalism and personality. We look forward to building upon the foundations he built in the months and years to come.”

While Lawrence Hughes, sales director at Falcon Foodservice, said: “On my appointment as sales director in 2011 Colin became something of a mentor for me, a relationship that grew. He is an industry legend for certain, but much more a friend to those who knew him best, always there with a wise word and thoughtful direction. A true gentleman who will be so missed so much by myself, Falcon and all who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

27 Comments

  1. I’m so very very sorry to hear this news. Colin was the first ‘rep’ I met when I worked for Neil Stratton in Grandmet Catering services and he whisked me off to the factory in Scotland to see the foundry – still one of the most memorable visits I’ve made. Falcon put me up at a Hydro hotel – Colin introduced me to whisky – copious amounts (never drunk it since!) – great memories of an icon of the industry. RIP Colin

  2. A huge loss and way too soon. Colin was a down to earth and highly knowledgeable mentor..
    It was a pleasure to work with him.
    our thoughts are with his family.and friends

  3. Colin was not only an Industry Colleague but also a good friend to both Myself and Alison, always a pleasure to work with.,
    We had some great times at work and at play so Rest In Peace my friend
    Andrew and Alison Jones BI Catering Equipment

    1. When I got the call last week I was so sad – I worked with Colin at Gardiner Wilkinson and I was 18 so 43 years ago, and all through his Falcon career we have had many times both working and also socialising together at many industry events – A true friend and yes, an industry character and legend , a great ambassador for Falcon and the Ali group too.
      Colin will be missed by many many people as the posts already show how much respect he has earned.

  4. I had learned of Colin’s passing late last week. Such sad news, and for a guy who had always lived life to the full.to soon. Colin was Sales Director when I joined Falcon the nineties. A real character who seemed to know just about everyone in our industry. I had the pleasure to work for him and with him through my time at Falcon and I enjoyed many a glass of wine with him long after I had left Falcon and moved on. Great guy who will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with Pauline and Amelia at this time

  5. RIP Colin, such sad news he was a terrific guy., I have many memories of him over many years at various industry functions and exhibitions such a great loss he will be greatly missed.

  6. I will miss a great colleague and friend …….also those little trips we had to Cardiff and Caerleon which were always lively affairs
    It was a great pleasure to have worked with you Colin .

  7. Very sorry to hear this news, Colin’s advice and insight into the industry was always useful and interesting to hear but often straight to the point and still provides a smile. Condolences to his family and friends.

    1. This is such desperately sad news and I send my sincerest condolences to his family. Colin was always an absolute pleasure to be with. A gentleman and a wise old owl too, always happy to offer unconditional and sound advice.I remember many fun days and evenings spent in his company and many more that, thanks to Colin’s encouragement, I have no recollection of whatsoever! RIP Lord Nevitt

  8. I have many happy memories of time spent networking with Colin
    He was always a pleasure to do business with.
    The industry has lost another great character

  9. Well what can I say that has not already been said. , Lord Nevitt as we all knew him was a legend. Great friend & straight forward & honest business colleague. You will be surely missed. Lots of amazing memories spent with you with lots of laughs & as usual copious of alcohol.
    Rest in peace my friend. xx

  10. Very sad to hear this. It was a pleasure to have spent time with Colin up at Falcon HQ. Thoughts are with the family and all of the team at Falcon.

  11. This will be another huge character lost to the industry as a whole and far too soon!
    Colin was a fantastic guy, and as others have already said, was a true gentleman.
    I can remember spending many a day with Colin in my earlier days at Sutcliffe design. Especially by the riverside in Richmond and the London Apprentice.
    I was lucky enough to speak to Colin at the Falcon Birthday Cruise up the Thames and we had a real good laugh about the old days and some of the characters back then.
    You will be sorely missed by us all here at Courts and our thoughts are with his Family at this very sad time!

  12. Such sad news. Lord Nevitt has left us far too soon, but with a wealth of fantastic stories, many of which shall live long in the memory. My thoughts are with his family, friends and all at Falcon. A fantastic man and we’ll miss him.

  13. I will fondly remember him as Lord Nevitt and with great memories , especially along side some joint work when I was at Rational many years ago .He was a true character , enjoyed a good meal and maybe a nice bottle as well. On behalf of us at all at Meiko we send our deepest thoughts to his family and friends.
    Colin will be sorely missed by many .

  14. All of the ladies at Falcon who worked with Colin have very fond memories of him and he will be sorely missed.
    All our thoughts are with his family.

  15. So sorry to hear of Colin’s passing. After working so hard he deserved longer. My thoughts are with his family

  16. What very sad news. My sincere condolences to his family.. It was a pleasure and honour to have worked with him and known him. I have many good memories of his wise words and humor’. . When I was a relatively new ‘rep’ at Falcon I had an appointment in London which Colin was to attend with me.. He came by train we met at site. We were then to drive onto our next meeting. After the meeting we walked along the street to the car. . I had not mentioned my car was in for a service and I was driving a very small ‘basic Skoda loaned for the day. Those that know him can probably imagine his reaction when he walked past the car and I had to call him back waving my car keys to say this was his chariot for the day 🙂

  17. I am so glad that I had the pleasure to work with Colin all those years ago.
    He always made me smile
    May his memory stay with us for many years to come and continue to make us all smile
    What a lovely man.

  18. I was sad to have learned of Colin’s sad passing from the Falcon ‘old boys’ network last week. I had the pleasure of knowing Colin for over 30 years as a customer, colleague and friend. I joined Falcon in 1993 and worked under Colin’s direction along with the ‘dream team’ of Harling, Callus, Gibson and Brown. Colin’s approach was very much ‘work hard play hard’ , its clear everyone who knew Colin has great memories of the times spent with him, I will certainly have and will be raising a glass or two of nicely chilled Chablis in his memory.
    My thoughts are with Pauline and Amelia at this sad time.

  19. I met Colin in the Kings Arms in Boxley Kent before Colin joined the Catering industry and I knew of a position at Wholesale Catering part of Gardiner Wilkinson Group. Colin worked then with Alec Grey and was so very successful
    Our Friendship remained over the almost 40 years we spent in it
    I have so many happy and great memories
    Rest in Peace Mate

  20. RIP Lord Nevitt, we had some very difficult conversations over the years that I was operational, but always always he found the solution, consummate professional, legend!! Gone too soon

  21. Colin was a genuine and honest broker, with whom I had the pleasure of working with over the last 44 years. Our lunches were legendary, mostly at Langans! He worked for too long and was retired for too short a time. My heartfelt sympathies to Pauline and Amelia.

  22. Colin and myself would often be the last two sat having a drink and a catch up at the Falcon management meetings. In his own no nonsense style he’d coach me on what I was doing right, doing wrong and his thoughts on my ideas for the business which proved invaluable. Some of his advice I can’t share (remember the no nonsense) although it would make you laugh but certainly one was as long as your customer’s are up you’re up so be at the bar. I’ll raise a glass of Chablis to Lord Nevitt at the weekend and a wry smile knowing he’s putting someone right about something up there. My thoughts are with Pauline and Amelia who he was so proud of during this difficult time. RIP Lord Nevitt x

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