York-based distributor, Fishers Catering Supplies, has been purchased by vending equipment specialist, The Upton Group, and rebranded as Ebor Catering Supplies.
The acquisition, which was completed for an undisclosed sum, is the second by Selby-headquartered The Upton Group, following on from the purchase of York artisan coffee roasting company, York Emporium, in 2016.
A statement on Ebor Catering Supplies’ website confirms: “All existing products, relationships, accounts, and agreements will still stand under the new ownership. We believe this purchase provides stability and long-term benefits both to the company and our customers.”
Fishers Catering Supplies was founded in 2006 by husband-and-wife team, Graham and Jane Fisher, who originally operated from a York market stall.
The distributor has local and national customers, generating annual turnover of more than £1m. It employed five staff, three of which have transferred to The Upton Group following the bank-funded acquisition.
John Duggleby, who became a director of Fishers in 2011, is joining The Upton Group as general manager of Ebor Catering Supplies. The Fishers have exited the business following the sale.
The Upton Group MD Ross MacDonald, who has become MD of Ebor Catering Supplies, said: “This is a strategically-significant acquisition for us, as Ebor Catering Supplies fits well with The Upton Group and York Emporium, and the three businesses can help each other grow through contacts and introductions.
“We see John Duggleby and his team working closely alongside Laurence Beardmore at York Emporium to help the business make further inroads to Scarborough and East Yorkshire where Upton Group has a base and Ebor is well established supplying hotels, cafes, and bars.
“As well as renaming and rebranding Fishers, we plan to fully integrate the business and refresh its product lines to appeal to a wider, national audience, including supplying kitchen equipment and offering a full kitchen-fit out service.”
Duggleby, who has joined The Upton Group board, added: “There is significant demand for what we offer and I’m very excited about the future for Ebor Catering Supplies now that we can access the resources of a larger group, with experienced sales staff and form a strategic partnership with York Emporium.”
The Upton Group has more than 80 staff and bases in Scarborough, York and Hull. It supplies systems for dispensing hot and cold drinks, confectionary and snacks, fresh foods and sandwiches, chilled water as well as artisan, hand-roasted coffees to businesses throughout the UK.