Contract catering's Holroyd Howe brand is to live on in a new guise as a private schools caterer.
The move, reported in February on Caterer's Kitchen Rat blog, dispels rumours that the Holroyd Howe name was to be phased out when the company became part of the WSH Group, owner of BaxterStorey, last year.
Holroyd Howe Independent will be run by managing director Nick Howe, co-founder of Holroyd Howe, with former team members Jeni Edwards and Graham Olds as sales director and operations director respectively.
The move has allowed Cater Link, also part of the WSH Group, to concentrate solely on the state education sector, where it runs catering in London's Camden and Islington boroughs.
Only a small percentage of the private schools market is contracted out at present, and it is dominated by larger players such as Compass Group's Chartwells division. This means there is a "real opportunity" for smaller operators to make inroads, Howe told Caterer, adding that the business will retain its independence.
"We will be run autonomously from the WSH Group but benefit from having access to its purchasing, IT support and initiatives such as the Chef's Academy," he said.
Holroyd Howe Independent starts life with 42 contracts and annual turnover approaching £14m, and Howe said the company would look to add 9-10 clients a year.
The company recently picked up the contract at Manchester High School for Girls, previously run by Aramark, which it starts at the end of May, providing catering for 1,100 staff and pupils.
By Chris Druce
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