Gordon Haggarty, the chairman of Accent Catering Services, has died aged just 60.
Haggarty passed away on Saturday 2 August after a battle against leukaemia.
A well-known, respected, and liked figure in the contract catering industry, Haggarty trained at the Savoy before working for contract caterers including Hall Ellison, Compass Services and Counterpoint in both operations and sales roles before progressing to commercial director and part owner of Capitol Catering Management Services.
Following the acquisition of Capitol by Granada, Haggarty became the operations director for the Summit Group. In 2002, he teamed up with his wife Clare and finance director Derek Warman, to fulfil his dream of launching a new independent caterer, Accent Catering Services.
Under his leadership, Accent has grown to a turnover exceeding £10m, operating more than 60 contracts in the education and B & I sectors whilst employing over 400 employees.
Haggarty stepped down from his MD role earlier this year due to ill health, when Accent appointed Ian Crabtree.
In a statement, finance director Derek Warman paid tribute to his business partner, saying: "Gordon was a warm, genuine person who loved the contract catering industry. I learned an invaluable amount from him and through some tough times we became very good friends.
"He showed great character, fortitude and bravery in his fight against leukaemia. In Gordon's memory we will continue the principles he cherished including producing quality freshly prepared food, employing highly skilled chefs and working in true partnership with our clients. He will be greatly missed by all his friends, colleagues and clients. Our thoughts at this sad time are very much with his family, especially his wife Clare, son Thomas and daughters Emma and Lucy."