Fitch & Son

Fitch & Son

The company began in 1784 when James Fitch opened a cheesemaking business in Leadenhall, London.

During the 19th century Fitch & Son grew from being a cheesemaker to become a producer and provider of many food products, from cheese to bacon. In 1839 the company had premises at 66 Bishopsgate, 83 Leadenhall and 98 Union Street in London. The firm held several Royal Warrants and by the 1870s had expanded to provide livestock auctioning and supplying dairy products nationwide. The business was incorporated as Fitch & Son Limited in 1908.

During the 1940s and 50s the company grew further into different areas of the food industry, and at some point was renamed as Fitch Lovell. During the 1940s the company purchased the Hales Home Bakery. This was followed by the acquisitions of the Far Famed Cake Co. in 1950 and John Trent Co. in 1952. Fitch also expanded into the butchery market, first buying Keevil & Keevil, a Smithfields meat seller, before buying the Layton & Burkett group in 1950, and expanding the business by purchasing several other London butcher chains.

During the 1960s Fitch Lovell opened its own supermarket chain called Keymarket, opening many stores in the south and east of England. In 1982 Linfield plc purchased the 98 Keymarket stores and merged them with their Gateway business. With the finances raised from the sale of its supermarkets, Fitch continued to expand its catering and production business. In 1990 Fitch Lovell was acquired for £308 million by the Booker Group who merged the company into its business in 1991.