This latest acquisition grows James Hall’s expanding portfolio of food and drink manufacturing businesses, joining the likes of Clayton Park Bakery, Fazila Foods, Graham Eyes Butchers and the Great Northern Sandwich Company.
Ann Forshaw and Emma Coupe will remain as directors and will run the company on a day-to-day basis, and all staff will continue in employment at Alston Diary. The Forshaw family’s Bolton Fold Farm next door will remain under ownership of the Forshaw family.
Dominic Hall, joint managing director of James Hall & Co. Ltd, said: “We are delighted to complete the acquisition of Alston Dairy and the Ann Forshaw’s brand which has an outstanding reputation for producing premium yoghurt products.
“We have sold Ann Forshaw's products in our SPAR stores for many years, and they have played an important role in our dairy categories, becoming firm customer favourites. We continue to strive to source locally as much as we can and acquiring Alston Dairy will allow us to protect that ambition and keep the brand local.”
Hall planned to expand the presence of the Ann Forshaw’s brand in more SPAR stores, as well as continue to develop products in new categories.
‘Energy and passion’
Commenting on the sale, Ann Forshaw said: “Across several decades I have poured all of my energy and passion into growing the business and with the support of a wonderful team, we have developed the brand and product range into what it is today.
“However, I felt that the time was right for me to sell the business and I was keen to ensure that Alston Dairy and the Ann Forshaw’s brand was sold on to a company that has shared values and is similarly family-owned, so I am very pleased to complete the deal with James Hall.
“I am also very excited to remain as a Director of the business, together with Emma, to bring to life the new ideas that we have for Ann Forshaw’s products, and I am very much looking forward to a future where even more SPAR customers can access our fantastic yoghurt range.”
Meanwhile, Independent confectionery business Serious Sweets Company (SSC) has acquired the share capital and branded interests of Mallow & Marsh for an undisclosed sum.