The Bradleys Story

FG Bradley, Yeast Merchants and Bakers Sundriesman, started trading in the early 1960's from the rear of a retail shop at 33 New Rents in Ashford, Kent, where its warehouse facilities consisted of four rooms, a small shed and a chiller.

In 1972 Fred Bradley sold the business to his golfing partner Bryan Hart who saw the potential to grow and develop the business to a wider market. He employed a van driver and an accounts person to help with the running of the company and increased both the area that the business covered and the range of products stocked.

With the continued expansion of the business an ex-wartime London prefab was acquired in 1975 to increase the warehouse space at New Rents. This quadrupled the amount of storage space available.

The current Managing Director, Graham Linkins, joined Bradleys in 1977, initially helping with office work, deliveries and working in the warehouse.

In 1978 a 4,000 square feet freehold property was purchased in Aldington village, approximately six miles from Ashford. From there the business started to rapidly expand, due to both local competition closing down and the distribution area increasing to the whole of Kent, East Sussex and parts of South East London. After 21 years at the helm Bryan Hart sold the company in 1993 to another independent businessman and Bradleys continued to grow within the Bakery Sector from the premises at Aldington.

In 1999 Bradleys purchased MJ Foods a local Frozen Food Distributor that operated in the same market sector. The acquisition took the business into new geographic areas and increased the product range even further. The business was being serviced from two depots at that time and it soon became clear that the business could be run much more effectively by operating from just one strategically positioned depot. In the year 2000 a 10,000 square feet freehold site was purchased in Wotton Road, Ashford, where half the premises were converted to an ambient store and the remainder to a 260 pallet, frozen store. The consolidation and relocation was completed by November that year.

A major fire in 2006 caused extensive damage when a vehicle on overnight chiller standby overheated and burst into flames. The fire spread rapidly into the warehouse and completely destroyed the freezer. With fantastic support from suppliers and the local cold store, Bradleys were operating again within three days, albeit from separate sites.

By September 2006 the storage facilities had been rebuilt and extended to allow for increasing sales and the complete operation was back on one site.

In 2008 Bradleys purchased Eurofoods Catering Supplies, a locally based catering wholesaler, and after further expansion of the warehouse facilities the business was fully integrated and operating from Wotton Road, Ashford.

In 2010 a further local foodservice wholesaler was acquired and incorporated into the premises in Ashford. This increased the product range allowing Bradleys to expand into the catering and foodservice sector, as well as enabling them to provide an increased number of lines to existing customers.

Bradleys now cover an area which includes Kent, Sussex, Surrey, South East London, Essex, Hampshire and Suffolk. Deliveries into most areas are twice a week using a company owned fleet of modern multi-temperature vehicles.

From those early days in the 1960's when Fred Bradley ran the business on his own, Bradleys now employ a team of 31 people and have a turnover in excess of £8 million and are proud to remain an independent company serving independent businesses throughout the South East.

For further information regarding the service and product range supplied by Bradleys please call 01233 622224.

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