Luxury Lancashire food supplier is sold to William Jackson Food Group

A Lancashire-based fine ingredients supplier that includes Michelin-star restaurants and sporting venues among its customers has been sold to Willliam Jackson Food Group.

Richard Wellock and Sons, which is based in Nelson, East Lancashire, and employs about 470 people across the UK, is a second-generation family business which has been based in Lancashire since 1961. It supplies chefs up and down the country with high quality ingredients and produce.

The 167-year-old William Jackson Food Group, based in Hessle, also owns online organic grocery delivery business Abel & Cole, bakery Jacksons, The Food Doctor and MyFresh.

Earlier this month, the group agreed a deal to sell Yorkshire pudding and potato brand Aunt Bessie’s to Nomad Foods.

William Jackson Food Group Chief Executive Norman Soutar said: “We are a sixth generation family business and are delighted to be welcoming Wellocks, a business we have admired for many years, to the family.

“We’ve been looking to enter the fast-growing premium segment of the foodservice channel and believe Wellocks, which has itself enjoyed recent growth, has really exciting potential for the future with its great customers and really innovative suppliers. We’re really looking forward to helping Wellocks grow even further into the future.

“The group remains very focused on having a portfolio of great food businesses and this is an important acquisition for us, replacing the Wigan salad processing business we sold to Agrial a year ago.”

James Wellock, whose father started Wellocks in Lancashire in 1961, added: “We’re really excited to be joining a family business which understands what Wellocks is all about and has family values very similar to our own.

“It’s very much business as usual for us and nothing is changing – the difference is that we now have a business behind us which brings even more knowledge and experience of the food industry and is able to invest in the long-term future of Wellocks and everyone who works here.”