• Wakefield based company provides Automatic Vending, Catering Supplies (non-food) and Contract Cleaning services
• Business originally set up in 1946 by Gerald Wilkes and today run by second and third generation family members
October 2016 – Wilkes Group, the Yorkshire based Automatic Vending, Catering Supplies (non-food) and Contract Cleaning group of companies, is celebrating the landmark achievement of 70 years in business this month.
The business, which employs over 330 members of staff locally, is continuing to thrive as it enters its platinum year, having achieved year on year growth of 10% for the year ending March 2016.
Originally established in 1946 by Gerald Wilkes, Wilkes Group began life as Wilkes Catering Services, running many of West Yorkshire’s booming work’s canteens in the post WW2 era. As the years passed the company grew stealthily forming Catering Supplies (Wakefield) and expanded its services to include the provision of groceries, catering disposables and ingredients for automatic vending equipment to businesses in the region.
In 1970 Wilkes Vending Services was formed and today is one of the largest privately owned operators in the UK, suppling over 3000 hot and cold beverage, confectionery, hot and cold food and water coolers to companies across the North of England and beyond. In 1990 Wilkes Group progressed into industrial and contract cleaning with the establishment of Wilkes Cleaning Services and also has a strong nationwide investment property portfolio, Wilkes Properties.
Based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Wilkes Group remains family owned, run by Managing Director Peter Wilkes and sons Simon Wilkes, Stuart Worth and Nick Wilkes.
As it enters its 70th year, the company continues to be focussed on growth across all divisions of the business, driving sales through its strong sales force, the maintenance of existing client relationships and also through competitor acquisitions in the marketplace
Peter Wilkes, Chairman of Wilkes Group, said: “I am thrilled that we are celebrating 70 years of success at Wilkes Group. We have an excellent and remarkable team of people working with us and our success is down to their hard work and commitment which continues to drive our growth. We have a very strong team of directors and senior management in place that have been instrumental in securing our growth over the years and we have many members of staff who have worked for us for over 20 years, and even a number that have been with us for over 50.
“The business is in a strong position despite a difficult market in many areas and our strategy is focussed on securing new business and providing an excellent service to maintain our existing customer relationships. We also actively engage with the market to acquire businesses that have a good ‘fit’ within our Group, Wilkes Vending Services alone has acquired ten companies of differing sizes in the last ten years and we are looking to continue on this acquisition trail.”