Robyn Jones OBE, founder of CH&Co passed away yesterday (21 September) at her home following a long illness. She was 54.
A highly respected figure, she continued to be actively involved in many aspects of the company as well as the wider industry, despite her illness, until very recently.
Jones founded Charlton House, as it was then called, in 1991 from the back bedroom of her house. In the following years, she and her husband Tim, who joined as chairman in 2000, built it up to be one of the largest independent foodservice companies in the UK, with an annual turnover of £120m.
Earlier this year, Robyn and Tim Jones merged their company with Host Catermasters, retaining the CH&Co name, with Tim becoming chairman of the new company and Robyn remaining as founder.
Her colleagues have already paid tribute to her and the legacy she leaves behind.
Bill Toner, chief executive of CH&Co Group, said: "Robyn was truly indomitable, never letting anything get in her way. Not only did she develop a wonderful company that was well known for its exacting food, standards and service, she developed a skilled team who have all gained significantly from her leadership. She will be hugely missed."
Caroline Fry, deputy Group CEO, who worked with Robyn for 21 years, added: "Robyn was an inspiring woman to work for. Her vision, determination, style and guidance helped me and many others develop our careers in more ways than we could have imagined. She was always a firm believer in the abilities of her people and her legacy continues in CH&Co Group. We will miss her enormously."
Jones won a host of personal accolades throughout her career, including a Catey. In 2011 she was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours. She also took an active role in many charities and industry organisations.
Jones is survived by her husband Tim and their children Tabitha and Blake.