Happy 100th birthday to Northampton cash-and-carry that started life as just one man on a bike

Two generations of owners for Jones Wholesale, with current owners Tom and Simon Allitt on the left and their father David on the right.
Two generations of owners for Jones Wholesale, with current owners Tom and Simon Allitt on the left and their father David on the right.

A Northampton cash-and-carry celebrated 100 years of serving customers in the town with goody bags for shoppers.

Tuesday morning (April 15) marked the 100th day of the 100th year since Jones Wholesale was founded 1919.

To celebrate, a hundred lucky cash and carry customers were given goody-bags during the day to mark 100 years of service in the town.

Meanwhile, local businesses from all over the town were invited to a celebratory centenary event at the headquarters in Heathfield Way, off Mill Lane.

The family business was started in 1919 by Percy Jones after returning home from fighting in the First World War, where he delivered goods around Northampton on his pushbike.

Today, the company is run by Percy's great-grandchildren Simon and Tom Allitt, who are the fourth generation to head it up.

Jones Wholesale now has over 25-thousand product lines in stock, from clothing to home and garden, from electrical to health and beauty, from toys to stationery and office goods, from parties and catering to DIY and pets, and as well as visiting their premises in Heathfield Way, the company also offer their customers an online delivery service.

“We’re very proud to be the fourth generation running this wonderful family business,” said Simon, 51. “From humble beginnings we have been serving the people of Northampton for a hundred years, and the celebrations are a tribute to all those who have, and do, make us a successful local business.

“We have – and have had over a hundred years – fantastic and loyal staff, some of whom today are following their own parents and grandparents working in the business, which makes us even more of a family business; indeed, our staff have always been part of the family.

“The same goes for our loyal customers, who today are following on from previous generations, and knowing that this is our centenary, many have engaged us with their own memories of family members using our services, or working for us over the years,” he said. “We even have suppliers today whose fathers or grandfathers have called on us in the past!”

As part of the celebrations of their centenary, Simon and Tom are taking part in a hundred-mile cycle challenge later this year, raising money for the Anthony Nolan charity, and the Northampton based Cynthia Spencer Hospice.