1976, the year of the first commercial Concorde flight and the worst drought in British history. It was also the year that saw husband and wife team, Bryan and Jeannie Goodall formulate a business plan to allow customers to pay a weekly amount towards a hamper of food, drinks & sweets delivered to their home in time for Christmas.
After leaving school at 16, Bryan joined his father’s finance business, learning all aspects of how to run a successful small business. This proved vital during the set up of Cleveland Hampers.
Initially operating from the kitchen table in the couple’s house and with two small children in tow, locating suitable premises was the key to cope with a rapidly increasing order book.
A warehouse and office complex in Thornaby-on-Tees with over 250,000 sq ft of space, on a site of 12 acres, presented itself. Within, there would be more than ample space to pack and store the hampers before distribution to their customers - and have capacity for future growth. It was an opportunity not to be missed.
A decade later and the company had grown and expanded nationally, with 7 offices serving 15,000 agents and 120,000 customers with its Heritage Hampers brand.
Loyal to the area and its people, the company sponsored Middlesbrough Football Club in the 1988 – 1990 seasons, an adventure which led to Heritage Hampers being included in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest painted advertising sign.
In 1989, the renamed Heritage Food Group was honoured with a visit from Princess Diana, one of their proudest moments to date.
The 90's brought major developments for the Group. The sale of the hamper business offered the opportunity to expand into new ventures, most significantly with the purchase of Vectis Auctions.
Over the subsequent 20 years, the Group has continued to grow, mature and diversify. But the main foundations have always remained the same - to be true to the local area and its people and have some fun along the way!