Stuart’s Foods acquires S Clift business as it eyes further plans for expansion

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Scarborough-based Stuart’s Foods has acquired S Clift Grimsby Limited in a deal that could eventually be worth £500,000.

Stuart’s, which now serves in excess of 800 customers across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and employs 33 people, will take on S Clift and its 13 members of staff.

It said plans to invest a further £500,000 into S Clift over the next five years, with modernising upgrades including applying for industry food handling accreditations and new refrigerated vans.

“We have built up a strong understanding of the catering trade over the past four decades and we’re passionate about promoting and supporting the whole healthy eating agenda,” said Stuart’s managing director, Damian Howarth.

“Our direct relationships with growers and other quality suppliers in our region mean we are able to source the best quality ingredients and deliver them to our clients with minimum road miles – straight from field to fork.

“Many of our local authority clients in particular have quite strict requirements around food standards, and this means that we are able to take care of this for them and help them meet their targets.

“The acquisition of S Clift will support this by opening up a new network of suppliers and customers on the south bank of the Humber.

“It was a natural fit for us, as a very customer focused business with a strong reputation and heritage like our own. Acquiring S Clift now gives us an opportunity to cross-fertilise between it and Stuart’s.

“Our existing business benefits from a new set of suppliers and customers, while we can introduce new product lines into S Clift, to enhance its offering, as well as bringing some of its infrastructure, systems and processes into line with contemporary requirements such as STS, SALSA and Red Tractor standards.”

The purchase is likely to be the first in an ongoing acquisition process aimed at extending the footprint of Stuart’s through the acquisition of complementary businesses including, potentially, butchers, bakers, delis and food wholesalers

Third generation family business S Clift Grimsby Limited, was originally set up in 1927.

The deal will extend the Scarborough company’s already extensive reach, to include major towns like Hull, York, Lincoln, Harrogate, Thirsk, Northallerton, Whitby, Malton and Skegness.