October 21, 2017

Space Catering Equipment – Out of this world acquisition

Space Catering Equipment has acquired Holmes Catering Equipment in York in a move that will increase the range and number of business solutions and services the company provides. The Gloucester-based company, which has been operating since 2000, is one of the largest and most well established commercial kitchen design contractors and equipment suppliers in the UK, with a turnover in excess of £14m.

Talking of the acquisition Mike Mellor, Founder of Space Catering Equipment, said: “We are delighted to announce that we have bought Holmes Catering Equipment out of administration. The roots of our business are in turnkey catering projects, from their design to final installations and including product management in-between. The thinking behind the Holmes takeover was that it gives us in-house ability to manufacture our own counters and fabrication bringing this vital part of our business directly under our control.”

The Space Interior Contracts Division that we set up in 2014 has also given us more strength in-depth when we are doing turnkey projects as customers often want us to take on building works to make the projects completely turnkey. In a recent project for Greenwich University we were given a concrete shell and we handed back a complete restaurant facility including building all the internal walls and completing all of the M&E to a BREEAM standard. Space also provided all of the catering equipment and dining furniture so it was a true start to finish turnkey project.”

Since its inception Space Catering Equipment has grown rapidly and now carries out work for some of the biggest restaurant chains, companies and organisations in the UK. The purchase of Holmes Catering Equipment will draw in new clients as well. “Another reason we acquired Holmes was to give us a much greater reach into the retail sector because that’s traditionally where Holmes had been very strong, in the large supermarket chains etc. Space Catering already has strong foundations in the brewery, restaurant, pub and contract catering sectors and Holmes has now extended our reach into retail as well.”

“We are delighted to announce that we have bought Holmes Catering Equipment out of administration. The roots of our business are in turnkey catering projects, from their design to final installations and including product management in-between. The thinking behind the Holmes takeover was that it gives us in-house ability to manufacture our own counters and fabrication bringing this vital part of our business directly under our control.”

Mike Mellor, Founder

The company plans to rebuild the Holmes business it has acquired as a separate entity and intends to run it in York as part of the Space group, which also includes Space Interior Contracts Ltd and a London office based in Chelsea. The group also has a thriving furniture division called Space Furniture that supplies a wide range of catering furniture from contemporary to traditional. The various divisions mean that the company is able to offer a variety of different services across the whole country. “We are pretty much in the thick of things in London,” adds Mr Mellor. “Whilst from the Southern office we are ideally positioned to reach huge parts of the country within a couple of hours, whether it is south down the M5 into Devon or north to Manchester, we are straight into the M4 corridor to the east and into Wales due west. From York, we have easy motorway access to Sheffield, Leeds, Hull and many of the other big northern cities. The move has been very much about giving us greater coverage allowing us to provide a wider, more comprehensive service.”

Even with the success it has achieved Space Catering continually faces challenges from the market and the company has done well to overcome recent struggles after acquiring Holmes Catering Equipment. “It has kept us all busy,” explains Mr Mellor. “We bought Holmes out of administration and there was a strict timeline on it so we had to move very quickly. It put pressure on management to get it over the line but we were able to rise to the challenge.”

The longevity of the business can be put down to the high standards the company maintains on all its projects and the attention to detail it provides to its clients. Space Catering offers a professional service and the excellent work it has carried out has seen it gain recognition and respect from others in the industry, whilst also seeing it win many awards over the years for its projects. “We have a great variety of live projects on the go at present including a new manufacturing technology centre near Coventry, a beautiful and prestigious scheme that we have taken from initial designs right through to completion. A number of colleague rooms for a large supermarket chain, and a few more boutique-like projects such as a smart, trendy new servery for a local restaurant in Cheltenham called The Daffodil, which is a smaller project but it brings our design and furniture skills into play.”

Wholefoods Pizza

Looking to the future Mr Mellor concludes: “We want to build Holmes back into the business it once was and develop our business in London, which is coming to the end of its first year. We also plan to continue developing the furniture division and anticipate it generating over £1m revenue next year. The next 12 months are about consolidation and getting the individual bits working properly. We’ll do a bit of rebranding to incorporate all the areas into one and we’re also looking at refreshing the websites as well. We are now one of the very select groups that can offer a turnkey service anywhere in the country from the south-west to London to the north, whilst incorporating every aspect of the scheme from the design, to the equipment, counters, building work and furniture. We’ve made the move and we just need to really leverage all the elements of the business to create more work and grow our customer base, whilst maintaining our high standards of customer service.”

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