Remembering catering equipment industry stalwart Peter Davis

Peter Davis

Tributes have been paid to industry stalwart Peter Davis who died this month after giving 40 years of his life to the catering equipment industry.

Mr Davis passed away in hospital on 14 January after a very brief illness.

He started his catering equipment career in 1976 working for Alamon Catering Equipment Supplies where he was responsible for the inception and marketing of one of the first microwave oven centres in the Midlands.

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In 1983 he joined Wholsale Catering, a newly created company, part of Gambles Holdings, formed to undertake the then new industry practice of wholesaling catering equipment to distributors.

He became sales director three years later and stayed for a further three years until the original company was purchased by Glynwed International.

He then became a Partner in a newly created business called Davro Distribution formed to wholesale Sammic catering equipment products on an exclusive agency basis to distributors nationwide until three years later a majority holding was sold to Sammic SA of Spain and Sammic Ltd was started.

For eight years he served as joint managing director, during which time the entire Sammic Group was purchased by Berisford PLC.

In 2000 he moved within Berisford to Viscount Catering Ltd (Enodis Food Equipment UK) taking up the position of commercial director, responsible for sales off all Viscount divisions.

He soon became vice president for distribution sales for Enodis Food Equipment UK but almost immediately the British share price collapsed primarily due to adverse results in the USA where 75% of the company’s sales were generated and along several senior colleagues was made redundant,

Peter decided that he had had enough of the ‘corporate’ life and in 2001 Davis Agencies Ltd was formed.

It was set up to develop distribution networks and supply catering equipment to UK-based catering equipment distributors and service companies, on behalf of manufacturers and wholesalers.

He accepted short term contracts at varying times on behalf of such well-known companies as Marren, Fagor, Imperial Catering Equipment, Metcalfe and DC Products.

His mantra was: “It is the company’s intention to provide professional, responsible and confidential representation on behalf of manufacturers and wholesalers and to carry out this policy with the best interest of the client at heart.”

When Peter retired, it allowed him the time to indulge his passions namely cricket where he served as secretary and chairman of his local club in Market Harborough.

He could also be spotted on his allotment where he was known to have serious green fingers.

In the last 5 years he was the instigator of a walking group formed of ex-industry friends who would meet 4 or 5 times a year in London where he would have crafted a meticulously researched historical walk around lesser known areas of the capital.

Mr Davis leaves behind his wife Jo and their three daughters.

His funeral is due to take place on Friday 5 February.

Editor’s note: With thanks to Nigel Palmer for his help with the information contained this piece.

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour


  1. I knew Peter for several years, he was an old school Gentleman and had a great knowledge of this industry. My condolences to his family and friends on the passing a Professional and very nice man.

  2. Peter gave me my first role in sales as Regional Manger with Wholesale Catering Equipment (Central) Ltd back in 1988. His professional and methodical approach to sales gave me a great foundation for my sales career, which I still apply today.
    My condolences to his family and friends.
    Rest in peace dear friend

  3. I knew Peter from my first role at Gambles some 34 years ago. A lovely man who put everyone at ease.
    My thoughts are with his friends and family.

  4. We are devastated to hear this very sad news. Peter was a true gentleman and made a big difference in his time with Metcalfe. He will be sadly missed. Our sincere condolences to his family.

  5. Mine and Peter’s paths crossed on a number of occasions. Always the profesional, always polite, always with a smile. My condolencies to his family

  6. I was shocked and saddened to hear of Peter’s passing. I worked with him for a couple of years when he was promoting Fagor with Davis agencies, having known him for several years as a fellow ‘seller’ of Spanish warewashers. He was hardworking, reliable and always the most organised of our Fagor sales team. He’ll be sadly missed by all who know him.

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