Tributes have been paid to Frank Brake, co-founder of food supplier Brakes, who died on December 22 at the age of 85.
The company, which was sold in 2002 following his retirement, paid tribute to the founder describing him as a "an entrepreneurial spirit who will be sadly missed".
Others paying tribute have referred to him as "a true pioneer", "an inspiration" and "a great man and entrepreneur".
Frank had formed the company with his brothers Peter and William. Registered as Brake Bros (poultry packers) in 1958, it initially supplied chickens to pubs, restaurants and hotels.
The business soon started to supply freezers and frozen foods and in 1972 the decision was made to stop chicken processing and focus on the supply of a wide range of frozen foods.
Frank was left as managing director following the death of Peter in 1989 and the declining health of William.
When he retired in 2002 the company had become the leading supplier to the food service industry in the UK as well as a national supplier of chilled and frozen food in France. It had a turnover of £1.5b and employed 9,250 people.
Frank had also made a significant contribution to charities through donations, a trust and personal involvement in a number of projects. These projects included the leadership and matched funding of the building of the Kent Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre. He had also sponsored many students through his scholarship program with South Bank University.
He was married to Evelyn and has three children, Michelle, Phillip and Richard.