Well known UK catering equipment figure, Kevin Jones, has sadly passed away after a long battle with illness.
Kevin died in hospital in Chesterfield and his family are devastated at his loss, describing him as “a larger than life character and one of life’s givers”.
He is survived by wife Julie, son Oliver and daughter Amelia. Amid the current coronavirus lockdown, only a small family funeral was able to be held for him on Tuesday 7 April in Brimington near Chesterfield, but Amelia did manage to fly from where she lives in California to attend the service and return home after.
Because of the social distancing, only 24 people were allowed at the service, with the Jones’ reporting there were many very upset friends and family that were not able to attend, but all understood under the circumstances.
However, a proper memorial service will happen in the future for his many old colleagues and friends to attend, and the family will announce the date when they are able to make arrangements.
Kevin spent 48 years in the catering and catering equipment industries.
He retired in 2017, when he was national business development manager at Electrolux specialist supplier, Catering Equipment Professional (formerly Alpeninox UK), which was subsequently sold to Pentland Wholesale.
He was part of a family dynasty, working alongside his brother David, who was MD of CEP, while also splitting his time assisting his other brother, Andrew, the owner and MD of both BI Catering Services and Peachmans Catering Equipment Services, at the two distributor companies.
Kevin always loved cooking, having taken that option at school instead of woodwork. He started working in the catering/hospitality industry in 1969 and attended Oxford Polytechnic school of catering in up to 1971. During his college days worked for a summer in Montreux, Switzerland and another at The Manor House Hotel in Castle Combe.
He continued his career at the Shakespeare in Stratford upon Avon, followed by a 2 year spell at the Hilton and Marriot hotels in Amsterdam. Kevin also worked on North Sea oil rigs before returning to the UK and starting work at RAF Officers College Cranwell as a civilian chef.
Additionally, he had a period running the family pub/restaurant in Norfolk at the Spread Eagle in Barton Bendish, before starting his many years in the equipment and service business.
After marrying and starting his family, Kevin then had a very successful and fun period working for Hobart, initially as an area sales representative in Derbyshire then moving up to national accounts and eventually becoming the regional manager for the West Midlands office and moving to Tamworth.
Subsequently, he spent 5 years running his own distributorship based in Derbyshire, where the team built a good national client base.
This was followed by periods for what was then Scobie & McIntosh Catering Equipment, Catering Connections and Jestic, using all of the in-depth knowledge gained on both sides of the counter.