where we’ve come from

Our History

From small beginnings with a grocery shop in Yorkshire in 1851, we are now a sixth-generation family business. Over the years, so much has changed and evolved. From what we sell and do to the ways we do it. But there’s one thing that remains unchanged – we’re family-owned with values at our core and we look after our people and our businesses properly. We’re in this together – for the long term – and we believe in winning the right way.

Our Chairman is Nicholas Oughtred and it was his great, great, grandfather William Jackson, who founded our business back in 1851.

William was clearly an old romantic as he married in the morning and opened our first shop, as a grocer and tea dealer in Hull, in the afternoon. We have a rich history but don’t make the mistake of thinking we’re stuck in the past – today we have five terrific, forward-thinking food businesses.

Our family members are still a very important and active part of our Group today. Sonya Eastaugh and Mark Oughtred are both non-exec directors on our Group Board and our business’ subsidiary boards also include family members. Trustees of our Employee Benefits Trust are family members, as are members of our Group Charity Committee. Our family members also try to attend Group events, such as our awards celebrations and sporting get-togethers – ensuring they remain connected with our businesses and our colleagues.

Our bakery in years gone by….