Our history traces back to 1954 when our founder, Les Ratcliffe, bought a milk round from his father, James.
A few years later in 1958, Les and his wife, Nancy, moved their young family to Dunsters Farm, a then rundown pig farm located in Brandlesholme.
In 1960, Les encountered a Dutchman in Clitheroe who was making something new called ‘Yoghurt’. Despite initial scepticism, Les saw potential in the product and started selling yoghurt.
Dunsters Farm became a limited company in 1963, marking an important milestone in our journey.
Building on the success of the Manchester Market unit, Dunsters opened up a unit at the Liverpool Wholesale Fruit and Veg Market. This expanded our reach and led to increased early morning deliveries around Liverpool and Southport.
Jeremy, Elizabeth and Heather, and long-serving staff member, Jack Rothwell, opened a unit on the Wholesale Market in Birmingham, marking another significant expansion.
1987 saw Les’ son, James, join the business. Around this time, Dunsters introduced its first computer and opened depots in Kirkham and Yorkshire, signalling our initial steps towards digitisation and further geographic expansion.
In 1991, we moved from the original Dunsters Farm in Brandlesholme to a new home in Tottington.
A significant contract win with Sayers the Bakers in the 1990s saw Dunsters Farm delivering to bakery shops in and around Liverpool.
A decade later, in 2006, we moved into our purpose-built facility at Waterfold Park, Bury, allowing us to better cater to the growing demands of our customers.
A transition in our family business as James left to pursue other business interests, and the third generation, Hannah and Tom, children of Jeremy and Elizabeth, joined the family business.
2016 was a pivotal year for us. We gained Food for Life, Red Tractor and Soil Association Accreditation. In addition, we implemented a new ERP system to improve our service offerings as we looked forward to the future.
We joined well-respected buying group Caterforce in 2021, utilising their buying expertise to strengthen our position and increase the range we offer our customers.
In 2022, we expanded our business by taking over The Little Food Company, a move that synergised well with our strong customer base in the education sector.
Our most recent milestone in 2023 was the launch of our state-of-the-art online ordering platform, revolutionising the way we serve our customers.
The Dunsters Farm journey is one of resilience, continuous innovation, and unwavering commitment to serving our customers. We’re proud of our history and excited for what the future holds. Thank you for being part of our story.
Our relationships with our clients are built on trust, respect, and our shared passion for quality food. At Dunsters Farm, we pride ourselves on our commitment to exceptional service and a personalised approach to meet each customer’s unique needs.