Brake Bros

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Private Limited Company
Industry Non-specialised wholesale food, etc
Headquarters Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom
Area served
UK, Ireland, France, Sweden
Key people
Kennedy McMeikan (CEO) [1]
Owner Sysco

Brakes (also Brake Bros Ltd) is a distribution company supplying food, drink and other products mainly to the catering (or 'foodservice') industry in the UK, Ireland, France and Sweden through more than 70 distribution centers.[2] It provides delivered wholesale and contract logistical services.[3][4][5] The company was created in 1958 and headquartered in Ashford, United Kingdom. Brake Bros Limited has been a subsidiary of Sysco Corporation since July 5, 2016 when the latter bought it for $3.1bn.[1][6]

Brakes Group[edit]

The Brakes Group comprises a family of specialist businesses, made up of many divisions:

  • Brakes
  • M&J Seafood
  • Country Choice (Including Bake & Bite)
  • Pauleys
  • Prime Meats
  • Brakes Catering Equipment
  • Wild Harvest
  • Creative Foods - Ready Meals Manufacturer
  • Brakes Logistics
  • Brake France
  • Menigo Sweden
  • Woodward Foodservice
  • Brakes Foodservice Ltd

In addition to the Head Office in Enterprise Park, Ashford, and the Group Head Office in Covent Garden, London, the group has offices and distribution depots around the UK and France, including separate head offices for each division.

List of Brakes depots around the UK

  • Aylesford
  • Harlow
  • Premier Park
  • Reading
  • Grantham
  • Tamworth
  • Coventry
  • Bristol
  • Warrington
  • Eastleigh
  • Bodmin
  • Bridgend
  • Corby

Company history[edit]

2007 Bain Capital acquired Brakes from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
2005 Brakes becomes partner in Nectar For Business a loyalty card for businesses
2004 Brakes opens its Food Innovation Centre in London Covent Garden - a first in foodservice the FIC is a place where Brakes presents its food and works on menu development to customers and is used for industry events.

Brakes launches Prime Meats its specialist meat division offering complete transparency and traceability for the caterer.
Brakes acquire Peters Foodservice Chilled Business Division and integrates it into the Brakes network.
Brakes acquires Wild Harvest specialist supplier to fine dining establishments.

2002 Major rebranding took place. To project a strong, cohesive force within the food service industry, the business became known as Brakes.

The company's major shareholders (the Brake family) decided to sell their shareholding and the business was subsequently sold to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, an American investment company.
Purchase of Pauleys, fresh fruit and vegetable supplier.

2001 Major acquisitions in France, including buying group, Carigel.
1999 Purchase of Cearns & Brown (an ambient supplier subsequently merged with Watson & Philip) and M&J Seafood (specialist seafood suppliers).
1998 Acquisition of Watson & Philip Foodservice (ambient & chilled grocery products).
1995 Purchase of Puritan Maid (contract distribution).
1992 The beginning of a prolonged period of growth and development.

Acquisition of Country Choice (bakery).
Launch of Larderfresh (chilled).
First French company acquired. The purchase and consolidation of small French distributors continued over the next few years.

1991 The company was looking outside of its traditional frozen food market with a view to further expansion. Accordingly, the name was changed once again.

Brake Bros Foodservice Ltd came into being on 12 March.

1986 To ensure sufficient investment to allow for continued growth, the company was floated on the stock exchange.
1977 The name of the company was changed to Brake Bros (Frozen Foods) Ltd on 1 July, to reflect the new direction.
1974 Poultry processing ceased as the decision was taken to expand the frozen food side of the business.
1969 With frozen food becoming more popular, the next logical step was to produce their own ready meals.

The cooked food factory opened at Lenham producing multi-portion meals, mainly aimed at the pub market, as well as meat products such as burgers.

1963 Believing the freezing of food to be the way forward, the brothers began to distribute frozen foods alongside the main business of selling poultry.
1961 Brake Bros (Poultry Packers) Ltd was incorporated on 30 October.

The business carried out poultry processing and packing, specialising in delivering poultry to caterers in Kent and London.

1958 Business established by William, Frank and Peter Brake supplying poultry to caterers.

The brothers all had catering training and, being sons of licensees, had attended the LVS (Licensed Victuallers Society) School.


UK Acquisitions since flotation in November 1986[edit]

Woodward Foodservice Ltd September 2008
Peters Food services Ltd November 2004
W Pauley & Co Limited October 2002
Seafoodirect August 2002
Scotia Campbell Marine Limited October 2001
Bertello July 2001
Roach Frozen Foods March 2001
Cearns & Brown Limited July 2000
M&J Seafoods (Wholesale) Ltd March 2000
Bayliss & Sons August 1999
Watson & Philip Foodservice October 1998
G R Tanner Co (Tanner Frozen Foods) July 1997
Dairyfresh Desserts Limited March 1997
Puritan Maid Limited November 1995
P&B Fine Foods October 1995
Woods Frozen Foods March 1995
Runnymede Frozen Foods July 1994
Jesse Robinson (Nottingham) Limited February 1994
Country Choice Foods Group limited May 1993
Bentley's Frozen Foods Limited April 1993
Feathers Fresh 'n' Frozen Foods Limited March 1993
Deben Valley Foods June 1992
Anderson's Frozen Foods Limited May 1992
Double A Foods April 1992
Peterson's Food Co March 1992
First Frozen Foods March 1992
Everfresh Frozen Foods Limited November 1991
London Larder Limited September 1991
Peter Hooper Frozen Foods Limited June 1991
Midfish Limited March 1991
Rossfrost November 1990
Peter Shaw Products September 1990
Caterfrost June 1990
Elmdale Foods Limited May 1990
Spring Valley Foods Limited December 1989
S H Wickett & Son Limited October 1989
VJG Foods April 1989
Cardigan Frozen Foods February 1988
Scotia Frozen Foods Limited November 1987

France Acquisitions since flotation in November 1986[edit]

Rault March 2008
Bertello July 2001
Valette SA May 2001
DISPAS (depot of trappes) May 2001
Szymczak Nadreau SA December 2000
Ingagel December 2000
Voladis November 2000
KING GEL June 1999
Figel January 1999
DISPAS (depot of trappes) January 1999
DISPAS (depot of Sete) May 1998
DRV SA (Vermes) July 1996
Frigosud SA August 1995
Odial SA August 1995
Dorcier SA April 1993
Picardie Volailles SA February 1993
Cogehalles SA February 1992
Anjou Surgelation SA February 1992


  1. ^ a b "Company Overview of Brake Bros Limited". Bloomberg. 2 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "BRAKE BROS LIMITED Competition". Hoovers. 2017. 
  3. ^ Aldrik, Philip. "Brake Brothers sold to US investment firm". Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "brakesgroup". Archived from the original on 8 November 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Brake Bros". Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Brakes sold to US company Sysco in $3.1bn deal". The Guardian. 22 February 2016.