Mellors Catering Services Mission is:

“Top Quality Service and Food Create Happy and Successful People”


A painting of the original establishment as it was when Amelia Jane Ashworth came to it in 1857


1840 Dean Confectionery opened on Lord Street, Southport.

1857 – 1869 Elizabeth Dean employed Miss Amelia Jane Ashworth as an apprentice baker. She returned home to Macclesfield with the promise of first option of taking over the business from Miss Dean when she retired.

1872 Amelia returned to Southport with husband William Mellor to take over and rename the business, Mellors. They had four children; the eldest Patty Mellor, took charge of the business at an early age, proving to be a good organiser with vision.

1904 Mellors moved from 163 Lord Street, Southport and the bakery and shop was rebuilt at 199-201 Lord Street (this site is still a trading coffee shop).

1908 Patty married James Hall but still managed the Mellors business. James developed his own successful business and was the originator of the “SPAR” chain. His company still operates from Preston today.

1925 A purpose built bakery and staff house was built in Southport.

1930’s  This decade saw great expansion. Patty and James had two sons, Philip Blundell Hall who became the managing director and James Ashworth Hall who concentrated on the grocery business of “SPAR”.

1963 Tim Timmerman (now Chairman) joined Mellors on a Bakery Student Exchange scheme from Amsterdam in Holland.

1974 Tim Timmerman opened his first shop “THE DUTCH CHEF”, a coffee shop and bakery on Lord Street, Southport

1977 Philip Blundell Hall retired and Tim Timmerman bought the Mellors business, consisting then of the Lord Street shop and bakery.  He integrated the two companies and became managing director.

1979-82  Three additional Mellors coffee & bakery shops opened.

1983 The Royal Clifton hotel acquired. Situated on the Promenade, Southport this prominent hotel has 121 bedrooms, three function suites, restaurant, several bars and a health club and spa.

1986 The bakery production moved to Butts Lane, taking recipes from original recipe books written by Amelia Jane Ashworth/Mellors 1869. The most popular recipe for the past century is still the “Millie Fuelli” a vanilla slice.

1991 First Mellors group newsletter produced for staff

Mellors first newsletter.JPG

1992 This year saw the acquisition of Forshaws wholesale bakers supplying other companies with our full range of products through wholesale vans.

1995 Mellors Catering Services is launched by its Founder, Mark Timmerman, Tim’s son. First contract won in September.

1996 Mellors Catering Services gain an additional four contracts. Julie Mycock (area manager) recruited.

2000 Mellors Catering Services wins first college catering contract, breaks the £1.5m net sales barrier and increases client portfolio to 28. Group awarded E.F.S.I.S. Quality Assurance accreditation. Awarded Sefton Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year 2000.

2001 Mellors Catering Services increase portfolio to 37 clients, employing 215 employees. Systems and procedures developed to achieve Investor in People accreditation.

2003 Awarded Inner City 100 by Gordon Brown (Chancellor of the Exchequer) for support of local employment and commerce. A third area manager recruited.

2007 Growth to 72 sites. Awarded Inner City 100 (position 40th in UK). Recruited fifth area manager and eighth area support manager to support expansion. Awarded Corporate and Social Responsible Business of the Year (England and Wales) by ICA.  Voted Best Company of the Year for Sustainability by CIMA.

2009 Growth to 100 sites, continued fabulous retention of core business with gains including Mersey Ferries and the UK largest college catering contract. Awarded Sefton Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year 2009 for the second time.

2010-11 Growth to 107 sites. Purchase of Lancashire Manor Hotel, opened in November 2010, fully refurbished with 51 bedrooms and extensive conference/function and wedding facilities. Mellors Catering Services head office relocated to Lancashire Manor.

2013-14 Growth to 145 sites, successful restructure of key personnel following retirements, extensive development within educational sector.  North West Finance Management award winner.

2016 Mellors Catering Services celebrates 21 successful years of trading.   Appeared in the Top 100 (number 82) most profitable SME list in the county by Lancashire Business Review.  Growth to 199 sites. Catering manager, Sarah Levenson wins The Big School Bake Off title. Entered the Top 20 fastest growing foodservice operators in the UK report at number 2; compiled by AlexPartners and EP. Winner of best catering service – Lancashire, Facilities Management Awards 2016. 

2017 Winner of the Cost Sector Catering "Contract Caterer of the Year" award.  Finalist in the Red Rose Awards 2017.  Food Development Chef, Rick Mattock through to the semi-final of British Sandwich Designer of the Year.  Catering Assistant, Allyson Norris gets through to the finals of The Big School Bake Off.  Finalist in 3 categories of the BIBA's (Best Leisure Service, Family Business of the Year and Business of the Year). Surpassed 200 sites.

2019 Winner of the UK Innovation Award (Educatering Excellence Awards 2019).

2020 Achieved our target of 100% site growth in 5 years.

2021 'Two Metres and Veg' strategy to beat COVID-19. 336 units and 1,612 lovely staff!

The Future To focus on our core markets and maintain our geographical boundaries, confirming Mellors as the regional alternative to the national and international caterers that dominate the sector.