Thursday July 11 2019

Uniform Manufacturer and Supplier Celebrates 40 Years of Business

Tibard, the leading chefswear and hospitality uniform provider in the UK, celebrates its 40th year with massive expansion and a commitment to investing in British manufacturing.

Uniform Manufacturer and Supplier Celebrates 40 Years of Business

The 5th July 2019 marked the 40th year since Tibard Ltd first opened for business. Founded by husband and wife John and Sue Shonfeld in Mottram, Tameside in 1979, Tibard has long been the clothing of the hospitality industry. Originally it was just the two of them, selling chef jackets and providing laundry services to local restaurants. Since that day, the business grew exponentially into a leading manufacturer and supplier of uniforms to all business sectors.

It’s been a remarkable journey! In just 3 years Tibard had outgrown the spare room in the Shonfeld family home. But retaining the local connection was integral to John’s vision so a suitable location in nearby Denton was found. This was where Tibard’s manufacturing story began. With clothiers relocating offshore to pursue greater margins during the 1980s, this gave the business a unique opportunity. A great many local, talented and skilled seamstresses, machine technicians and fabric cutters were left without employment. Tibard utilised this workforce and have never looked back. They are now the only uniform manufacturer with a consistent presence in British textiles.

By 1989, the business had reached maximum capacity at their first site in Denton and so took the bold decision to create their own space, perfectly suited to Tibard’s highly specialised requirements with ample room for future growth. Thus, Tibard House in Dukinfield was built. For 15 years, this site remained unchanged and proved a fantastic investment by the business. However, as new accounts continued to come in and their customers experienced success themselves Tibard’s operational capacity had been reached. Fortunately, the SMT learned that the adjacent, and far larger industrial unit, was up for sale. They wasted no time in securing this space because ensuring the business could retain its fantastic staff was absolutely paramount. However, being the former home of a Fork Lift Truck Depot, there was quite a lot of renovation to be done before it was fit for purpose. 18 months of hard work and an investment of £2 million later, Tibard’s new, state of the art warehouse and office space was completed. Just in time for this milestone anniversary!

As of 2019, Tibard employs more than a 120 people in the UK including expert machinists, designers and engineers at their newly expanded manufacturing facility in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester. Tibard now makes over 10,000 workwear items a week for chefs, front-of-house and kitchen staff. With customers including some of the biggest restaurant chains in the country, including TGI Fridays, Pizza Express and Wagamamas, Tibard is incredibly proud to serve such corporate groups as a family business.

Reflecting on the past 40 years, Founder John Shonfeld had this to say:

“Tibard was born out of the local hospitality industries need for high-quality chefswear and this expanded to supplying restaurants with a reliable resource for all their uniform but being a family run business I believe makes us special as we’re approaching business with a personal approach that extends to everyone from customers to partners to employees.”

On Friday, 5th July, Tibard hosted customers, suppliers and staff both old and new to a day of celebrations including an open-house at the newly renovated 60,000 sq ft site in Tameside, Greater Manchester where stakeholders were invited to tour the new facility. Many of whom for the first time. The day's festivities went into the night with an official anniversary party at the Village Hotel, where everyone celebrated this momentous occasion.

“Showing appreciation to staff, customers and suppliers is important to us,” Managing Director, Ian Mitchell said, “A company like ours is built off the relationships we have with people around the country, and we wanted to bring everyone together for one night because we couldn’t have built such a successful company if it wasn’t for everyone who works tirelessly to make Tibard the place it is today.”

Over the past 40 years, Tibard has made millions of garments proudly worn in venues and businesses across the UK and is ready for the next forty with its expanded operational capabilities. 

"Showing appreciation to staff, customers and suppliers is important to us. A company like ours is built off the relationships we have with people around us"
Ian Mitchell - Managing Director

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