A family run business started in 1975 as a dairy farming partnership under Roger Bishop the name of Pensworth Farms by two brothers, Roger and Cliff Bishop, and George Jeffreys who owned the local Newhouse Estate in Redlynch, near Salisbury. The three partners started milking 200 Friesian dairy cattle.
In 1988 the partnership made the bold decision to leave the Milk Marketing Board and started their own on-farm milk processing and bottling operation utilising existing farm buildings and selling its own farm milk to local households. This evolved over the next 10 years to encompass about 10 doorstep delivery rounds and 12 wholesale lorry routes, which serviced the local shops, service station forecourts and catering businesses.
In 1989 the business was expanding so quickly that it decided to cease the processing of milk in order to concentrate on its sales development and became a buyer of milk from the main milk processor in Southampton called Vines Model Dairies.
In March 1998 George Jeffreys retired and the business was transferred to a limited company called Braeforge Limited, retaining its original trading brand of Pensworth. In March 1998 Roger Bishop teamed up with Michael Mitchell the Companies Financial Director to form the new limited Company.
The company continued to expand and in July 2000 the company purchased its supplier of milk Vines Model Dairies in Southampton, acquiring the factory and milk business and again allowing the Vines family members to retire. At this time, Roger’s two sons Daniel and Gideon joined as directors to help take the business forward and in 2002 the Company restructured further to allow Roger Bishop to take semi-retirement completing the succession planning.
In 2004 the Vines doorstep milk-rounds were sold and the proceeds from the sale were utilised to allow the company to further diversify into the middle-ground catering market. At this time the business had sales of £11m and was distributing about 40million pints from its factory in Southampton and its distribution centre at its original home in Redlynch.
The company continued to invest in the factory with the aim of increasing its capacity and improving its efficiency. The company also continued to expand its production and its distribution throughout the South and South West of England, becoming a prominent player in the supply of milk to the retail and catering sectors.
In 2008 the company obtained an important strategic supply to the seven milk depots of Brazier Dairies business north of London. In August 2009 the Company purchased the business outright and then restructured the business into three major distribution centres at Watford, Aylesbury and Cheshunt.
The company has since continued to acquire additional sales and expand its distribution to cover most of the South of England and South Wales. The business now has sales of £40m, 240 employees and a factory processing 100 million pints of UK farm milk annually. The depots which are spread throughout the South of England and Wales continue to expand rapidly.
Pensworth recently joined forces with Leicester based dairy company Kirby & West. Combining their ideas and workforces, both companies have managed to expand their delivery range and are now bringing fresh milk and dairy products to a rapidly growing number of the population.