How do you make your mark in a family business that can trace its ancestry back five generations to its foundation in 1868? Simple: you treble its turnover in just 6 years at the helm. This is the almost unimaginable achievement of Henry Stephenson, who only joined the family firm in 2005, and took on the managing director’s role aged just 33 in 2009.
Now aged 39, Henry oversees relationships with twice as many customers as he first inherited, and still manages to ensure that longstanding rapport with prestigious customers such as Robinsons Brewery and the Chester Grosvenor is nurtured and maintained.
Few distributors in the North West of England offer anything like the breadth of catering products to their clients as Stephensons does. Its hi-tech Stockport warehouse, which Henry expanded by 10,000 square feet, processes over 10,000 product lines; 4,000 of them in stock at any one time. This facility is the foundation of
HG Stephenson’s e-commerce business, which acts as a 24-hour shop for everything from ice trays to oven ranges.
Maintaining relationships with an ever-growing number of suppliers is just as vital to the business, and this is a specialism for Henry thanks to several years spent as a buyer for a national supermarket chain.
This skill not only benefits Stephensons, it is also vital at Caterbar, a buying group for several distributors, for which Henry was recently made chairman.
“Henry oversees relationships with twice as many customers as he first inherited”