In 1947 my Grandfather, Harry Ross, opened a small Butchers shop selling quality butchery to the public. My father, Colin Ross, joined in 1960 and concentrated on expanding the catering side of the business. In 1977 he opened “Harry.S.Ross (Wholesale) Ltd.” at new premises in Ryde, producing high quality meats and meat products for the catering trade.
As the business rapidly developed, in February 1983 Colin opened new premises in Newport and transferred the wholesale business from Ryde. In June 1985 the company name was changed to “Medina Quay Meats Ltd” trading as Medina Meats. This name was formed as we are situated right by the River Medina!
In July 1988, after leaving school, I joined Medina Meats. I started learning most aspects of the business and after a few years I was in charge of the manufacturing side of the business. After getting that department fully established, I started to develop the Frozen Food section, which only played a very small part of the business. Nowadays, virtually every customer of ours purchases frozen food from us and it is a major part of the business.
In 1997 I became a Company Director and started to help run the business as my parents took more of a back seat. In March 1998 Caroline joined us and she took over as Office and Sales Accounts Manager. She has helped to improve standards and sales for the company as we have grown.
In February 2001 we purchased a warehouse adjacent to our main building, to utilise as an ambient store for Food and Non Food products. Again this section rapidly became very popular with our existing customers and also introduced a lot of new customers that were not too happy with their existing supplier or their local Cash & Carry for these products. We also changed our trading name to “Medina Foodservice” to try and help promote/re-launch the company, as many customers still presumed we only did butchery!
In March 2002 my parents retired. My wife and I purchased the remaining shares and now run and own the business. Then in October, we had a delightful baby boy, Brandon. Keep your eyes peeled, as it may well be his name you will see at the bottom of this page in the distant future.
During November 2007, we took a very big chance and started delivering to the New Forest area two days per week. This was a very big step for us, as anyone that takes the ferry to the island will know how much it costs to cross that small stretch of water. Very pleasingly it worked two fold. Within the first couple of months, we had over ten customers start to use us.
We now deliver six days per week and to a much larger area of the south coast. The other good reason being that we are now able to collect lots of specialist products we previously could not source while being restricted to just the Isle of Wight, by dealing with several other wholesales and manufacturers.
In January 2010 we purchased Manor House Produce, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler that has been established in the island for over 15 years. Most importantly we have kept all the existing staff for their knowledge and experience in this field. We can now offer a complete range of fresh produce which is sourced as locally as we possible can, direct from growers both on the Isle of Wight and in Hampshire. We also go to Southampton market five times a week for what we cannot get direct.
In June 2011, after a year of pestering Red Funnel Distribution, they finally gave in and sold us their distribution premises. I had made plans for the whole building several months before we completed and from the minute it was signed, we had contractors in immediately to start excavating for the 6,000 cubic metre freezer. There were many problems we faced when constructing the new premises, but nothing that could not be overcome and finally, we moved everything in over one weekend on November 5th moving approximately 1,000 pallets.
From here on, from our 30,000 sq ft warehouse and offices, we can be so much more productive and efficient. We have more than double the capacity we had at our old premises to enable us to have higher stock holdings and also be able to purchase in higher volumes. Our butchery and ready to eat preparation areas meet the highest standards possible for food hygiene. Everything is just so much simpler than how it used to be at our old premises.
Overall, we supply many of the Islands prestigious hotels and restaurants, public houses, fast food outlets, care homes, schools, prisons, outside caterers and now ice cream parlours and beachside cafés. We are always trying to improve and maintain our quality, standards & service and this is where we pride ourselves compared to our competitors.