Born and raised in the beating, urban heart of London, Michael Jenkins is an entrepreneur and visionary who has always had his finger on the pulse. Boasting a long and diverse experience in the commercial world, Michael’s business attitude rests upon three fundamental pillars: hard work, high standards and always delivering high quality.
He is a ‘hands on’ business owner with tremendous attention to all the detailed workings of a business and a major emphasis on his staff, investing his time and effort in developing them to their fullest potential
Alfred Jenkins Ltd 1958 – 1977
Michael’s career began on the frontline of the fast-paced world of the Spitalfields Fruit & Vegetable Market, a commercial center steeped in hundreds of years of British business history. Starting his career at age 15 1958, Michael commenced with the most basic of tasks, including tidying and sweeping the warehouse floor, but within 3 years had revolutionized the administration function of the business, taking a senior management role. Michael then turned his attention to the procurement methods of the business which, with impact onretained margin and profit saw the company grow at a much faster rate. This experience cemented some major business fundamentals for Michael and formed the platform for his future business endeavors.
R Rumbold Ltd 1977 – 1997
After the humble but successful beginnings, the company expanded in 1977 under Michael’s keen stewardship by acquiring a competing business of R Rumbold Limited. One year later Michael assumed the position of Managing Director and developed the company into one of the UK’s major fruit, salad & vegetable wholesalers, distributors, importers and exporters. By 1982, R Rumbold Ltd was one of the first companies of its kind to introduce computers in general accounting, goods-in, sales and purchase ledgers and reporting,thereby allowing the company to increase the size, speed and efficiency of its trading function without increasing overheads. By 1983 the company was generating 400 – 600 individual transactions daily, six days each week. As a result of the range of products and increased sales the company increased its employment contributing to one of the largest teams of its kind in the industry.
Oldfields Quality Foods 1986 – 2005
With the increase of the presence and popularity of supermarkets and the accompanying negative shifts in buying volumes, Michael sought to diversify his business interests. A theme that has remained constant in Michael’s career is to only build upon solid foundations even at the expense of speed and so as he began to explore the sandwich industry he made the prudent decision to start by opening a sandwich shop in Brewer Street in Soho, central London an area famed for its electric atmosphere and high footfall of hungry tourists and local workers – the perfect location for Michael to begin exploring this as yet unchartered territory. From this shop came a 1,000 square foot factory making 200 products a day with five part-time workers and an annual turnover of £60,000 GBP in 1991 under the name ‘Oldfields Quality Foods.’
By 1994 Oldfields had outgrown the original factory and moved to another part of London to a much larger manufacturing unit, which meant a greater capacity for manufacture and an increased sales revenue growth of 200% by 1997.
In 1998 the coffee giant Starbucks entered the UK market with the purchase of 44 ‘Seattle Coffee Company’ retail stores to which Oldfields had already been supplying pre-made sandwiches. Over the next two years Michael and his senior management team consistently exceeded Starbucks’ high standards and KPI’s as they opened between four and six new stores every month. With an ever keen eye for logistics and supply chain management Michael identified an opportunity that would ultimately revolutionize the way Starbucks orchestrated product delivery by positioning Oldfields as the single manager of the timely collation, picking and final destination delivery of not just the fresh sandwiches but also all associated food and beverage products that Starbucks sold, including cakes, muffins and juices – a move that cut Starbucks UK’s logistics costs by some 65%. As a result Michael and his team not only built the Starbucks food program they revolutionized their supply chain management.
Two years later in 2000, Oldfields signed a monumental three-year contract with Starbucks UK, delivering to 160 stores across the UK. Industry commentators noted that it was unheard of for the American based giant to sign supply contracts, let alone one of that length.
By 2005 Michael and his team had grown the company to manufacture in excess of 50 million sandwiches per year, turning over £45m (GBP) per annum. Oldfields employed 540 fulltime staff and commanded a fleet of 88 refrigerated vehicles delivering sandwiches and associated products throughout the length and breadth of the UK 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days of the year. The nerve center for this huge operation was Oldfield’s national headquarters situated in a purpose built, state-of-the-art 110,000 square foot factory in East London – a building designed and delivered as a result of Michael’s own vision and recognized across the industry as one of the finest factories of its kind in Europe to this day.
In 2005 Michael sold his shares to Greencore, the globally active, Irish conglomerate who were increasing their involvement in the sandwich production industry.
Hobbies & Interests
In addition to being an avid and accomplished photographer, Michael appreciates music (especially Jazz) cooking good food (with BBQ grilling his specialty) and keeping up to date with the latest technological innovations (he is a die-hard Apple fan).
Philanthropy, Voluntary & Community Work:
Throughout his life, Michael has always been involved in charity endeavors. He has volunteered his time and energies in a variety of ways, trying to make the world a better place in whatever way he can.