Reed Boardall is marking the completion of 25 years since the Yorkshire-based frozen food storage and distribution business opened its first cold store at its Boroughbridge site.
In 1992, the family business, which is still headed by founder and current chief executive Keith Boardall with his son Marcus as deputy chief executive, opened the doors of the 3,000 pallet capacity store, the business having been previously based in Northallerton. Initially there was had just one shift and had the first customer to move into this new facility was WCF Foods, whose factory was just along the road.
The new site, with its potential for expansion, enabled the company to grow rapidly, adding shifts and staff as well as extending a year later with a further 9,000 pallet spaces as its customer base grew. In due course, the store in Northallerton was closed, bringing all customers onto one site, greatly facilitating efficient consolidation of distribution. Twenty-five years on, Reed Boardall has become one of the best-known names in food logistics, working with leading food manufacturers and retailers across the UK and storing around £100m worth of products on their behalf.
The four warehouses have a combined capacity of 142,000 pallets. The £60m turnover business now operates 24/7 and has a 180-strong fleet of vehicles moving up to 12,000 pallets a day. It is now one of the biggest employers in the area, employing 780 staff, and its single 55 acre site in Boroughbridge is the largest of its kind in Europe.
Keith Boardall, chief executive, comments: “Reaching our 25th birthday is quite an achievement and I think the fact that the company is continuing to flourish is testimony to the strength of our original blueprint for the business– we’re still doing what we set out to do, we’re just doing it on a larger scale now, having grown alongside our customers.
“There have obviously been huge changes over the years, driven by the increasing sophistication of the UK’s supermarkets, changing shopping habits and the massive advances in technology. However, fundamentally, we are still doing the same job – acting as a reliable partner for our customers and providing an integrated service for their cold storage and transport needs.”
Andrew Baldwin, managing director of Reed Boardall’s cold storage division, added: “It’s great that so many of our loyal team have stayed with us throughout our phenomenal growth. I originally started working with the company when the new store opened and 25 years later, I’m still here! The business is always evolving, every day is different and it is these challenges that make it an exciting place to work.
“I think another important reason why so many of the team stay is the company’s strong family values which recognise the key role each person plays in Reed Boardall’s continued success. The advantage of being a single site operation is not only logistical, but also encourages strong team spirit as all the management are able to work closely together.
Jacqueline Rae, admin office manager, who has been with the company for 24 years, said: “I first came across Reed Boardall when I was working for their customer, WCF Foods and was impressed by the service then. Although the operation has now become so much bigger with a much larger site and many more staff, we have managed to retain the flexibility and personal service which enables us to deliver the consistently high levels of service which our customers require and have come to expect.”