Patrick Dooling, former operations director at Waltons Catering Equipment, has created a new dealership after the Bradford-based distributor was forced into liquidation in March.
The new Waltons and Company is a name change for the former Waltons’ sister company, Ue Coffee Roasters North, a coffee specialist which supplied machinery, ingredients and full barista training to its customers.
Dooling detailed: “It has been a difficult period during lockdown and after being made redundant I had to look at what my future options were. I owned and ran a coffee company inside the same building as Arthur Waltons, so once that business closed it left me with the dilemma of how my own company could continue without having to relocate and find new premises.
“Having been in the industry for over 25 years I didn’t want to walk away as I love the hospitality industry and my customers who have been working with me for years. So I decided to set up a new catering equipment distributor.”
He further revealed: “My coffee business will continue but I have renamed it to be more relevant to the market I am working in, hence the new name Waltons and Company.
“It’s a new company name, new approach and new team.
“We are based in the old Arthur Walton building on the M606 motorway, and I am currently working on converting the old space into a brand new trade counter and click and collect service within the 20,000ft2 space.”
Waltons and Company will also feature a live working coffee showroom/barista training area along with a new Epos demonstration area.
Dooling explained that the dealer will focus on serving the Yorkshire community with consumables, food packaging, coffee and tea, chemicals, kitchen and tabletop products and larger catering equipment.
“I have also partnered with a number of key companies where we can now offer bar and cocktail drinks and menu consulting, kitchen design, equipment maintenance and also repair.
“We are currently holding stocks of Covid-related products to assist our customers in re-opening. Food packaging for takeaways, masks, sanitiser gel, EN certified anti-viral sprays, aprons and visors.”
The firm is also just about to release bespoke dividing screens to allow more customers into restaurants and is looking into offering a contact free bespoke restaurant app where customers can order and pay on their phone from their table and have the food delivered.
Dooling commented: “We are thinking ahead and trying to make it as safe and easy as possible for our customers to get used to the new normal.”
Dooling’s wife Gemma is a director of Waltons and Company, and is working full time on marketing, social media and setting up an e-commerce website for the business, which is scheduled to go live in July.
The firm’s Facebook page states: “The name Waltons has been well-known within the catering equipment industry for over 99 years, especially around Yorkshire. When deciding on a new name to move the business forward with we wanted to honour this history and keep a sense of familiarity, whilst also signifying the beginning of a new era. Waltons and Company was perfect.
“We’ve combined our services and products to bring an end to end solution all under one roof which we believe will enhance our customer experience and enable us to provide the very best support our customers deserve.”
Dooling affirmed the cornerstones of the business’s strategy going forwards: “Over the coming months we will be launching our new live operational estate kitchen based in our building, which will be open to the public, as we showcase our beverage solution along with food cooked on our own designed and fitted kitchen. This will be dual purpose and be able to be booked for customers to come and cook and test the equipment before they buy.”