Hunger still there for Burnley food firm as it celebrates 80th anniversary

The Birchall team celebrate the firms 80th anniversary. Photo: JDR Photography
The Birchall team celebrate the firms 80th anniversary. Photo: JDR Photography

A leading foodservice wholesaler celebrated its 80th anniversary in style with a fun party for all of its employees – followed by a BIG Event for its customers.


The two celebrations shone a spotlight on the remarkable success of Birchall Foodservice, an independent family-owned business which was established in Burnley in 1939.

From humble beginnings, it has grown from a business selling just four products to a £30million operation with over 150 employees and depots in Burnley, Durham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent.

Four generations of the Birchall family attended the event, which was held at The Prairie Sports Village, with guests of honour company chairman Colin Birchall and his wife Christine, who is company secretary.

Colin said: “We were celebrating the 80th anniversary of the formation of the limited company, however, it was just over 100 years ago when my grandfather George Chichester Birchall started wholesaling to bakeries from the rear of his off licence, selling eggs, flour, butter and yeast.

“It was the call to arms for my father in 1939 at the start of the Second World War that prompted the formal registration of the limited company, which we are now celebrating.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to play my role in the ascension of the business and it is wonderful now to see three generations actively working in the company to take it forward and hopefully enjoy even more success in the future.”

The celebrations later continued with a ‘BIG Event’ for customers at the company’s TED event suite, welcoming 200 guests from across the north of England for a foodservice exhibition, with stands from a range of leading suppliers, on-site food vans and tastings of the company’s turkey offering for Christmas.