E. Park & Sons enjoys the honour of being one of the UK’s few remaining family owned and run potato businesses in existence today.
The company has developed a strong reputation for having high standards of excellence.
Recognised as an authoritative and leading expert, the company continues to build on its achievements through being proactive and innovative.
The company is the sole Licensee for National Trust Potatoes and Vegetables and has a close relationship with this key partner.
E. Park & Sons is the company behind the potatoes that so many people in the UK and further afield are enjoying today.
Following the conclusion of the First World War, the local council develops the Newton Estate to encourage farming in the local area. Farms on the estate are leased to former servicemen returning from the Great War. Joseph Ernest Park (known as Ernest) and his wife Ellen Park move into Dean Close Farm in 1920.1920
As well as growing potatoes on their small holding and being dairy producers, Joseph and Ellen begin buying potatoes from local farmers and selling the potatoes and milk, produced from the farm, to local shops in the area, from a horse drawn cart. This is the beginning of the Park family’s potato business.1924
Joseph and Ellen have two sons called Geoff and Ernest. They begin trading as E. Park & Sons.Late 1920s
The Potato Marketing Board is established by the Potato Marketing Scheme (Approval) Order (Great Britain) 1933 as a preventive measure against the unstable potato market conditions that exists in the 1920s. The scheme regulates the market and requires the registration of all potato merchants in order to stabilise the industry. Joseph is issued with an “Authorisation of Merchants” certificate from the Potato Marketing Board on 1 November 1934.1934
Following the death Joseph, Ellen continues to manage the business with her two sons.1948
Ernest marries Elizabeth Potts. Ellen buys the newly married couple “Bentworth”, another small holding about a mile down the road from Dean Close Farm. “Bentworth” remains the head office site for the Company. Ernest and Elizabeth concentrate on the family’s potato business. They purchase a lorry and start buying potatoes from local farms in Cheshire. They then sell those potatoes to the local markets.1949
Ernest and Elizabeth continue to invest in the potato business and begin trading with growers in Lincolnshire. Elizabeth handles the administrative duties of the business whilst Ernest manages the day to day running of the organisation.
The business obtains its first retail customer, the Co-operative Wholesale Society, delivering directly to stores belonging to the Buxton, Macclesfield and Stockport Societies.1950s
The organisation builds a large warehouse at Bentworth. The warehouse is used to store bags of potatoes, which are then sold to the wholesale markets, the retail sector and local fish & chip shops.1960s
Ernest and Elizabeth’s two sons and two daughters (Richard, Graham, Jennifer and Helen) join the business in differing roles.
The business begins importing new potatoes from the Canary Islands, Egypt and Cyprus. This approach enables the business to supply its retail customers with new potatoes all year round. Many of the international relationships created during this period of time continue today.1970s
The business is registered at Companies House as a limited liability company and becomes E. Park & Sons Limited. In the same year, the company purchases a packhouse in Garthorpe, Lincolnshire with the aim of being better able to supply its growing retail customer base.1972
Ernest passes away. Elizabeth and her children continue to run and grow the business.1979
The Company has a wide-ranging customer base. The 1980s see the supermarkets strengthen their hold on the retail market. The Company continues to grow its supermarket customer base, using its packhouse at Garthorpe to supply those customers. Bentworth continues to supply the wholesale markets and local fish & chip shops.1980s
Ernest and Elizabeth’s son, Richard Park, becomes the Managing Director of the Company.1988
The Company constructs and occupies a state of the art packhouse at Epworth, Doncaster. Since the early 1990s, the Epworth packhouse has doubled in size and is currently a BRC A+ facility.1990/1991
Richard’s son, Stephen, joins the business, becoming the first fourth generation member of the family to join the Company.1995
The Company installs an organic potato line at the Epworth site and becomes the sole organic potato supplier for Asda. In addition, due to the company’s international contacts in Italy, Israel and Egypt, it becomes the sole importer of international baby and salad potatoes for Asda.2003
The Company joins forces with the National Trust, selling National Trust potatoes to retailers. In 2009, the Company becomes the sole licensee for National Trust potatoes.2007
At the Co-op’s Best Regional Supplier Award 2009, the Company wins “Best Regional Product of the Year” for its National Trust loose new potatoes. The award is in recognition for not only the superb eating quality of the new potatoes but also for the high environmental standards that the Company’s National Trust growers maintain.2009
The Company is awarded “Specialist Supplier of the Year” at Nisa’s supplier awards 2011.2011
In conjunction with Grampian Growers and Skea Organics, E. Park & Sons launches a new innovative seed breeding programme, GPS. The aim of GPS is to discover new potato varieties which will impact positively on the retail market.2012
At The Grocer Awards 2014, E. Park & Sons Limited is awarded the “Own Label Produce Supplier of the Year”.2014
The Company enters into a joint venture with an American company called Rick Miles Produce International, Inc. The joint venture incorporates Miles Park Global Limited. Miles Park Global Limited begins supplying fresh potatoes to the American burger chain, Five Guys, globally (apart from America and Canada).2015
Elizabeth unfortunately passes away.2018
The Company begins constructing a new state of the art packhouse at Bentworth. The new packhouse will become operational in 2022.2020