2016: No.38= - £100m
2015: No.43 - £82m
Peter Blakemore is managing director of Wolverhampton-based food wholesalers A F Blakemore and Sons – a firm which prides itself on doing things “The Blakemore Way” and which has big plans for expansion.
He is the third generation of Blakemore running the company, which has developed a culture and values which set them apart from some other companies in the competitive food sector. In a nutshell The Blakemore Way means treating colleagues, customers and the community which the company serves in a friendly and positive way.
Blakemore’s plans to double the size of its distribution operation over the next five years, targeting key growth areas of Asia and the Middle East. The firm’s Spar retail division is also expanding following a partnership with Euro Garages which has 180 sites across the UK, and a joint venture with restaurant business Eat 17, forming two retail and restaurant operations in Hackney. New Subway and Greggs franchises continue to grow its retail offering.
Blakemore’s has an award winning CSR programme and is an active participant in Business in the Community. Peter Blakemore, 71, sits on the BITC West Midlands Advisory Board and in 2009 was appointed Prince’s Ambassador for the West Midlands.
The approach obviously works. Blakemore’s is consistently profitable and made profits of £9 million on sales of nearly £1.3 billion in 2014/54. The company has £79.5 million in net assets.
Blakemore’s is one of the biggest food supply companies in the UK and is also a key player in the Spar Group, running well over 300 Spar shops throughout the country through Blakemore Retail. The group also services around 940 Spar shops and is the largest member of the Landmark Wholesale Group. Peter Blakemore represents the UK on the Spar Food Distribution International Board.
Peter Blakemore, who lives in Wolverhampton, owns 70 per cent of the billion pound turnover company which began life as a Wolverhampton grocers set up by his grandfather, Arthur Blakemore in 1917.
Now Blakemore’s employs around 8000 people and much of its sales turnover growth is as a result of its acquisition of Capper & Co for £40 million. The company has also acquired Lowries Cash and Carry in the north of England. Its sales growth in recent years has been impressive, considering the competition from convenience stores opened by the big supermarkets. Most of its profits have been ploughed back into the business, with the balance going to charities.
As well as its flagship £5 million wholesale division headquarters on Wolverhampton Science Park and its Willenhall company HQ and distribution centre, Blakemore’s has nine wholesale deports across the UK. The company also has a fresh foods division, an award-winning food service division, a shop-fitting division, a print business and its Blakemore Fine Foods distribution business.
Community effort plays a big part of Peter Blakemore’s business attitude. The award-winning Blakemore Foundation benefits from two per cent of the company’s pre-tax profits, the firm has a well-established employee volunteering scheme, and raising money for charity is embedded in the company’s philosophy.