Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Historic Leeds bakery supplier in expansion drive after new building acquisition

A wholesaler and distributor of catering and bakery supplies is expanding after acquiring a fourth building at Seafox Court, in Sherburn in Elmet, which will enable the business to continue growing its product range and creating new jobs.

Walker Humphrey was established in 1964 and predominantly supplies products to craft bakeries, independent businesses, farm shops and specialist retailers that are located across Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and the North East.

Today the family run business employs a 33-strong team and offers an extensive range of ambient, chilled and frozen products and ingredients, along with packaging solutions.

In 2009, Walker Humphrey relocated from Morley to Sherburn in Elmet after acquiring its first unit at Seafox Court. In 2015 and 2017, the company expanded into adjacent units following the launch, and success of its frozen range, which includes quality unbaked pastry, savouries and thaw and serve confectionery products.

The company has just acquired its fourth unit at Seafox Court, which means its premises now extend to more than 28,000 sq ft of warehouse and distribution space and office accommodation. Walker Humphrey was advised on its latest acquisition by Leeds property consultancy, GV&Co.

Martin Humphrey is Managing Director at Walker Humphrey, which was founded by his late grandfather, Joseph Walker Humphrey. Martin said: “I’m delighted that we were able to successfully acquire a fourth unit in Sherburn in Elmet, which will enable further expansion without the need of a costly site move.

“It significantly increases our loading area for our fleet of HGV multi temperature delivery vehicles and, as we enter a global energy crisis, the additional unit means we can increase our frozen and ambient capacity, as well as investing in a secondary solar system. This will reduce our electricity bill by an impressive 50%, which will make us even more competitive in the supply of goods, keeping storage costs under control to help minimise any further price increases to our loyal customers.”

Finally, Martin added: “It’s an exciting time for Walker Humphrey and we’re now recruiting for several positions, ranging from forklift truck drivers and sales personnel, as we aim to grow by another 20 per cent, which will give us a 40-strong team, in the next three years.”

Paul Mack, director at GV&Co, said: “It’s been a privilege to advise Walker Humphrey on this latest acquisition. They were seriously considering relocating away from the area, as they needed to secure larger premises.

“This property offered a rare opportunity to procure a freehold industrial unit on Sherburn Enterprise Park and ultimately secures Walker Humphrey’s future in Sherburn in Elmet, as well as offering much-needed expansion space.”

Walker Humphrey was represented by GV&Co as well as Marcus Kaye of Blacks Solicitors, whilst the vendor was represented by Jake Pygall of Avison Young and Alison Batty of Clarion Solicitors.

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