H. G. Stephenson

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H.G. Stephenson Ltd are an independent distributor of crockery, glassware, cutlery and other tableware, currently based in Stockport, Greater Manchester, England.

More commonly known as Stephenson's, the company is family owned and run and was established in 1860 by Henry George Stephenson who started out on a rented stall in Salford flat iron markets. Stephenson's has grown from strength to strength; currently the 4th and 5th generations of Stephenson's (Michael Stephenson and son Henry Stephenson) are involved with the company.[1]

In 1868 the present Managing Director's Great Great Grandfather, H G Stephenson, moved into the newly built Barton Arcade in Deansgate, Manchester. Stepghenson's moved to Stockport in 1967, the company's products turn up on TV shows like Bargain Hunt and Antiques Roadshow.

The company recently expanded their Stockport site,[2] investing in neighbouring premises, previously occupied by Piggott & Whitfield Ltd, which has seen the site grow to over 30,000 sq ft.[3]

Catering Equipment[edit]

Stephensons stock an extensive range of catering and bar disposables, paper, cleaning, chemicals, crockery, cutlery, glassware, bar sundries, signage and display, clothing and kitchen equipment.[4] Branded products include all key tableware and glassware manufactures such as Arc International, Artis, Churchill China, Dudson, Porcelite, Steelite, Utopia and Villeroy & Boch.

Customers (trade and public) are able to order by email, phone, online or in the cash and carry. Stephensons offer free delivery on all orders over £50 (ex vat, mainland UK).


In 1860 Henry George Stephenson moved from the North East to Manchester, where he sold pottery from a rented stall at Salford Flat Iron Market. After eight years, H.G. Stephenson moved into the newly built Barton Arcade on Deansgate, Manchester. At this time the business focused on the retail market selling famous brands such as Royal Doulton and Wedgwood. Further retail shops were opened in Manchester in Piccadilly, St Anne’s Square, Cross Street and Lytham St. Annes.

As the business grew ever more successful H.G. Stephenson launched into new sectors including hospitals, breweries and hotels. The company registered with Companies House in 1900 and thrived up until the World War One which brought recession and severely limited supplies. H.G. Stephenson died in 1918 and supplies remained scarce after the war, then later the recession of the 1930s forced the closure of all but the Barton Arcade shops.

Third generation Harold Stephenson, joined the company in 1932, however at the start of the Second World War, entered the army and fought in Burma. Later in 1943 a bomb raid destroyed Barton Arcade forcing the business to close for the remainder of the war. The Barton Arcade store reopened in 1945 and business resumed.

Michael Stephenson joined the business in 1963 and developed a full product range for the catering industry. In 1968 Michael moved the business from Barton Arcade to its current premises at Kennerley Works, Stockport.

In 2005 Henry Stephenson joined the business as Marketing Director and later became Managing Director in 2010.


Stephensons catering equipment suppliers are currently based in Stockport, near Manchester, where their premises incorporates a warehouse, cash and carry, and showroom.[5]


External links[edit]