Our History

Vestey Foods UK is a Vestey Foods company part of Vestey Holdings, a 100% owned family business dating back to the 1890s. Our rich history marked by the pioneering, visionary and entrepreneurial spirit of our forefathers continues to influence the way we run our business today.

In the 1890s, founding brothers William and Edmund Vestey established the Union Cold Storage Company in Liverpool. Among the first to exploit the potential of refrigeration, they developed cold stores across the UK and throughout Russia, the Baltics, and Western Europe, enabling them to supply large quantities of quality affordable food to the growing UK population during the Industrial Revolution.

Union Cold Storage Directors, William Vestey and Edmund Vestey (standing, left and right), James M. Synge (Chairman, 1897-1912) and Roger P. Sing (Chairman, 1912-38) (seated, left and right) pictured in 1912 with Business Executive Evelyne Brodstone.



In the early 20th century, the business expanded into China, establishing a vast egg processing enterprise from six dedicated facilities on the eastern seaboard. With their fleet of Blue Star Line refrigerated vessels, they were able to supply the bakery trades in the UK, USA, Europe, and South Africa for over fifty years.

The Blue Star funnel was introduced in 1928.


In 1911, the Vestey brothers expanded their services into meat production, processing, and distribution, with pastoral land and meatworks in Venezuela, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, and Argentina.

Nelor Cattle.


The brothers also acquired market-stalls on the Smithfield Market and butcher shops throughout the UK, with around 3,000 Dewhurst outlets by 1923.

A Dewhurst butcher shop.


By 2000, the vertically integrated model, by which the food business had previously operated, had been broken up.

This led to farming, cold storage, food import, and distribution, which operated as stand-alone companies.


Today Vestey Holdings is a family of 12  food businesses divided into two divisions: a food commodities division with the Vestey Foods companies and a fine foods / artisanal foods division.

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