Catering Insight is celebrating its 100th issue with a run-down of 100 UK catering equipment industry greats, comprising people, projects, equipment and business developments.
Today we take an in-depth look at the second batch of people profiled:
Working for over 25 years within the refrigerator sector, 15 of which has been with manufacturer Hoshizaki, Stuart Kayes has successfully demonstrated his long-term involvement in the industry, in addition to his impressive theoretical and practical skill to the Institute of Refrigeration (IoR), where he was appointed as Fellow, the highest membership level, which is only granted to industry leaders.
Stuart has been heavily involved in IoR with various initiatives which fall outside of his role as technical manager for Hoshizaki UK. For example, he promoted World Refrigeration Day and Women in Engineering. As a result of this, female membership of the IOR increased by 50%.
As the founder of distributor, C&C Catering Equipment, John Kitchin was one of the most recognisable faces in the UK catering equipment industry. His dedication entrepreneurial spirit, and his positive impact in the sector were exemplary and he was referred to as a “true gentleman” by many in the sector.
Having begun his career working as a catering manager across several hotels and hospitals, John left the NHS after 21 years of service to establish C&C in 1981. The company has since grown from strength to strength, and John worked there for decades until an unfortunate turn of health.
John’s industry commitment also saw him decide on C&C swiftly joining CEDA and Cedabond.
Julian Lambert recently retired as sales director of supplier Maidaid Halcyon, after dedicating 32 years of service to the catering industry. He joined the firm in 2000, following his earlier career path at Rowntree Snack Foods, Lockhart Catering Equipment in Reading and Wholesale Catering Equipment in Leicester.
During his time with Maidaid Halcyon, he repeatedly broken sales records, firstly as an area sales manager and subsequently as sales director of the company. This level of continuous success has been achieved by Julian’s in-depth understanding of the product he sold, coupled with his tireless efforts to really get to understand the requirements of his customers.
Julian’s sales training sessions for Maidaid Halcyon distributors became the stuff of industry legend. Over the years he delivered the training in a humorous and enjoyable manner, whilst still imparting an extremely high level of know-how.
Though now semi-retired, Linda Lewis dedicated 26 years to supplying quality, reliable equipment to the catering industry. She began her career working as an office junior for Excel Equipment, followed by a role as sales co-ordinator at Fields & Pimblett. Kitcheneers was formed following the demise of Fields & Pimblett where Linda had a successful 5 years as sales director, till she took a leap of faith in herself and set out on her own.
Linda established her company, LLK, (then, Linda Lewis Kitchens) in 2006 from a tiny rented office room in Oldham. She handled every aspect of the business, at one point sending out the orders from a warehouse all the way in Newcastle.
Linda’s grit and determination to succeed saw LLK become the first female-owned business within the buying group, ENSE, blazing the trail for women in an industry which has historically been dominated by men.
Everyone in the catering equipment industry knows Steve Loughton. He spent an incredible 45 years at the cutting edge of the sector, beginning his journey at Garland Catering Equipment, spending 23 years learning his craft and working his way through the ranks.
Subsequently he had stints as MD of companies including Kitchen Brains, Caterparts, Welbilt, Standex, Jestic and latterly Hoshizaki, where he helped to guide the integration of the Gram brand in the UK.
He made a massive contribution to the sector (including being the longest serving CESA chairman in recent history), and colleagues reported he was a pleasure to work with – kind, sincere, and always offering nuggets of wisdom.
Even though he officially retired in 2018, he remains firmly connected to the industry through his own business and mentoring consultancy firm, Cupola Consulting.