Managing Director, Foods of Europe Ltd
Let me spend a few minutes talking about myself, Stephen Winterhalder, I am the joint owner (my wife and I) and Managing Director of Foods of Europe.
After a false start as a Trainee Accountant I stumbled into Asda buying chilled fish and frozen poultry. My first day was spent in a white coat at the Grimsby fish market with laughing traders posting dried peas down my wellies for a tease.
I was at ASDA from 1982–1989. Started as a trainee and progressed to Senior Buyer. They were great times – ASDA was growing rapidly but still young and dynamic enough to encourage own decision making for younger people like me. No committees then!
In 1989 out of blue, a headhunter rang me with a buying job in Hong Kong at the supermarket chain Park n Shop, part of the Hutchison Whampoa group. I was to stay there for 13 years.
When I arrived in Hong Kong the small range of dairy and yoghurts disappointed. I was doing business with the then owner of Foods of Europe in the UK and asked him to airfreight a range of dairy brands like Muller, Yeo Valley and Petit Filous Fromage Frais, They were a great success and the business took off. - It was his company that I later purchased in 2003 – Foods of Europe..
In 1993 I became Buying Director for Park n Shop and started importing ambient products, including Waitrose Own Label – sales continued to grow. Park n Shop still work with Foods of Europe today and import a huge range of British products.
In 1999 I became MD of one of Hutchison’s new start ups – a B2B office supplies business called Bigboxx.com – this is now the market leader in the territory.
By mid 2002, after 13 great years, I’d had enough of Hong Kong but took away many good contacts. After 18 months as an Associate at Glendinning Management Consultants working on various projects with M&S, Tesco, Booker and Arla Foods, I finally, in October 2003, got the funding together to buy Foods of Europe.
In addition to Park n Shop, we work with other market leading super markets like Dairy Farm Cold Storage in Singapore and Malaysia, Central Food Group and TOPS in Thailand, Fosters Supermarkets in the Cayman Islands and a distributor in Dubai and Kuwait
We ship product on ambient and refrigerated 40 foot sea containers and short life chilled product by air. Waitrose ready meals with only 6 days life are shipped to Hong Kong every week. Our proposition is one stop shop of a huge range of British product delivered little and often, on a just in time basis so as to ensure a comprehensive range and a differentiated offer.
I am a retailer by trade and as such understand retailers’ requirements. I believe this really makes a difference and ensures we give our customers exactly what they need for their business.
Do not hesitate to make contact if you think we can help your business today!