The family roots, innovation, and community commitment behind Trevors Foodservice  

Having celebrated 60 years in business in 2023, Trevors Foodservice (Trevors) is a reliable wholesale distributor operating in the Northwest of England. With over 3000 product lines spanning frozen, ambient, and chilled categories, along with non-food items, the business caters to a diverse customer base such as hotels, schools, care homes, and both independent and multi-site restaurants.  

Matthew Hitchen (L) & Gary Hitchen (R)
Matthew Hitchen (L) & Gary Hitchen (R)

As a third-generation family-operated business, Trevors has experienced a unique and complex history. It was founded as a retail store by Trevors Tasker in 1962, but the Hitchen family’s involvement began a year later in 1963 when a young Ken Hitchen joined the business. After purchasing shares in the business in 1969, Ken and his wife, Heather, took a significant risk by remortgaging their home to purchase the company outright.  

Ken and Heather’s son, Gary, grew up within the business, helping his dad in the store before joining full-time in 1985, around the time that operations had started extending to wholesale food delivery services. Catering to Blackpool’s thriving hospitality scene, Trevors opened its first foodservice warehouse in 1988, and has since grown to become a key distributor in the region.  

Now a Director, Gary is joined by his sister, Dianne, and more recently, his son, Matthew, all of whom are the company’s current Directors. We sit down with both Gary and Matthew to learn more about the family business and how the father-and-son duo are continuing the family’s legacy of success. 

“Trevors stands out in the wholesale industry as a family-owned, family-run business with a keen understanding of market dynamics,” Matt opens. “Our hallmark is delivering high-level customer experiences that emphasize personalized service and collaboration with clients. We go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction, whether through sourcing specialty products or ensuring timely deliveries. The unique blend of familial warmth and professional efficiency sets us apart in the industry, making us the preferred choice for chefs and businesses across the Northwest.” 

Gary agrees: “With an extensive product portfolio and unparalleled customer service, we’ve grown to become Blackpool’s top foodservice supplier. Our online ordering, next-day deliveries, and top-notch fleet ensure our clients receive quality goods on time.  

“Efficiency is also paramount as we continuously strive to improve processes,” he continues. “We’re leveraging new technologies to streamline our operations, automate tasks, and ultimately free up time for employees to focus on other efficiencies and value-add activities. Only by strategically integrating technology into our processes can we enhance productivity and stay ahead in the industry.” 

Consistent quality and service 

Turning to the company’s latest developments, Gary shares the motivation behind moving to a new state-of-the-art facility. “Our decision to move to new premises this year is driven by our continuous growth and the need for expanded facilities to accommodate our increasing demand,” he says. “Despite our growth, we remain committed to our local community and we’re proud of our heritage in the area.” Lift truck  in warehouse

Matt adds: “Our new location represents an exciting opportunity for us to further enhance our services. With expanded capacity and improved infrastructure, we will be better equipped to meet the evolving needs of our clients, as well as serve them more efficiently. By staying local, we also maintain our connection to the community that has supported our journey from the beginning.” 

On the topic of community, Gary is keen to highlight the positive working culture that the team have established at Trevors. “Working here is like being part of a close-knit family,” he states. “With over 50 percent of our staff having been with us for over ten years, longevity and loyalty are key pillars of our culture. We’ve recently introduced new additional benefits as part of our commitment to the wellbeing and workplace satisfaction of our team members. Our employees aren’t just colleagues; they’re valued members of our extended family.” 

“We also prioritize strong relationships with our supply chain to ensure resiliency and reliability,” Matt elaborates. “We closely monitor our suppliers, as by maintaining a robust stockholding, we mitigate potential disruptions. With over 60 years of experience, our longstanding relationships with suppliers enable us to provide consistent quality and service to our customers.” 

People first 

As our conversation draws to a close, Matt suggests: “2024 will be another transformative year for Trevors, with the launch of a new site, growth in our sales and operations teams, and an expanding customer base. We will continue to improve our technology and streamline processes to enhance our operational efficiency. We remain committed to our proven track record and to innovation, with the introduction of a development kitchen to strengthen our research and innovation.” 

Gary concludes: “Further afield, we aspire to evolve into a thriving hub of community empowerment and culinary innovation. By continuously monitoring market trends and adapting our strategies accordingly, we can effectively navigate challenges like margin pressures, pricing fluctuations, and market saturation, all while maintaining our commitment to quality products and services. 

“Although our goal is to achieve a turnover of above £35 million, we’re primarily focused on fostering a supportive working environment and creating meaningful job opportunities for the local community,” Gary reflects. “We envision our team growing in strength and diversity to drive positive change and make a lasting impact beyond financial metrics.”