It’s that time of year again! The time where we can sit back, enjoy the festivities and reflect upon the past twelve months…
This year has been monumental for Thomas Franks with new team members, new headquarters, and new clients all joining the family. Before I introduce you all I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single member of Thomas Franks. This year has been one of the best ever, so thank you all for helping me deliver the vision of excellent service and fantastic food to each and every one of our locations.
We have quite a few new faces this year which is a sign of just how much we have been fortunate enough to grow. In the operations team, we have welcomed Christine Leman as Regional Director in the west, looking after our Welsh locations as well as our business in the south-west. Alison Ryan, Hayden Oakes, Suzanne Hemchaoui and Mike Pritchard are new additions to the operations team also, already making waves and delivering the vision across the country! Most recently we are joined by Lizanne Marais who will be part of Christine’s team, she will begin in the new year along with Lee Fowler who is joining Darren’s team in the north.
Kostas Bechlos, also a long-term Thomas Franks team member, makes the step up from location manager to Group Manager based within the M25.
An all-new Business Development team, headed by the fiercely determined Maria James. Former General Manager, Susanna Lee also joins this new team which is already exceeding expectations.
We also expanded head office itself! We now occupy two offices at the famous Hook Norton Brewery, Lorraine’s accounts team taking over the newly-developed area.
Increasing the size of our team and offices is a direct result of the fantastic growth we have seen across the business this year. One of the most exciting things we get to do in Thomas Franks is bringing our unique approach to fresh food, to new clients.
Among our new partnerships, this year was a number of private schools based up and down the country. In the Midlands, we joined forces with Solihull School and the North brings new schools in the form of Ackworth in Pontefract and the beautifully situated Moor Park in Shropshire. The Central and South East regions see the introduction of St Ive’s, Maltman’s Green, St Mary’s School, Iffley Academy and Mount House, the latter playing host to a fantastic, celebrity-chef presented, cook-off competition back in October. Many schools spruced up their dining facilities also, with a little help from the Thomas Franks Creativity team, most notable among them were the fabulous new facility at Hall Grove and the new Sixth Form Café in Edinburgh’s Loretto School. Currently undergoing an enormous refurbishment is Dulwich Prep school’s dining hall, a huge undertaking and the team is doing a fantastic job of making the best of the temporary facilities!
Private Schools aren’t the only locations we saw added to the ranks this year. Business headquarters, in the form of Kindred in Wimbledon, Challenge House in Milton Keynes and Delonghi in Portsmouth, all joined the family. As well as all-new clients, we have developed our relationship with Britvic, bringing the addition of their Solihull Head offices. Last, but by no means least, we also welcome the arrival of our most local business: Dematic in Adderbury, only eight miles from head office!
Now, we wouldn’t be able to support a single one of these new locations without the expertise of the newly formed Development Chef team. Lead by Chef Director Gavin Young, the team consists of long-term Thomas Franks employees Anton Stevens, Belinda Evans, Fraser Ross, Gavin Tarbox and Ian Foster. Tommy Cuthbert is the most recent member, having graduated from his Executive Head Chef role at Loretto School in Edinburgh. The Project chef team that supports every location expanded also, adding to it Pedro DaCosta, Lloyd Palmer, Nick Cornish, Wayne Evans, Scott Burnapp, Simon Mainwood, Sean Runsey, Aaron Thompson and Jasveer Singh.
A very busy year indeed! Looking forward, we are well underway with the planning of the all-new catering operation at Bibby Financial HQ, a literal stone’s throw from Dematic’s front door, and Gymshark HQ, based in a purpose-built facility in Birmingham. Also opening in the coming months is the Lichfield base of the Wincanton Screwfix operation.
Once again, thank you to every single one of you that have worked hard this year to deliver the vision right across Thomas Franks.