WOUHRA BROTHERS ESTABLISH IN UK
It all began in 1968 when the 5 Wouhra Brothers, originally from New Delhi, India, spotted a gap in the UK market and started serving the growing population migrating from the Asian sub-continent, with traditional Asian foods and delicacies. They opened a shop in Wolverhampton stocking high quality items and provided door-to-door deliveries, and it wasn’t long before the business was thriving.
EAST END FOODS
In 1972, the brothers formed the East End Foods brand and moved operations to Birmingham. Specialising in South Asian ingredients, they catered for the local community including the growing number of Indian restaurants and carefully sourced only the finest spices and other products from all around the world. Their practices gained them the reputation for having high quality control procedures in place and the business went from strength to strength.
HIGHGATE DEPOT OPENING
It was no surprise that the products and outstanding service offered by the Wouhra Brothers led to a huge increase in demand and after the continued success of their retail business, they progressed into wholesaling. In 1979 they set up their first depot, just south of Birmingham city centre, in Highgate, which had a large concentration of South Asian independent retailers, family owned stores and restaurants who all became loyal customers.
SMETHWICK DEPOT OPENING
With their wholesale business becoming another success story for the brothers, the next major development was in the early 1990s when they opened their flagship wholesale distribution depot in Smethwick, just 4 miles west of Birmingham city centre. As well as servicing the local population’s needs, the company’s distribution network strengthened and grew to include a customer base across the whole of Europe.
ASTON DEPOT OPENING
After the closing down of the old HP Sauce site in Aston, just north of Birmingham city centre, the brothers purchased the site and built a state-of-the-art depot. As well as becoming a leading employer and providing a huge boost to the local economy, innovative systems and processes were introduced across all branches to ensure that the unrivalled service levels customers had come to expect were maintained regardless of how big the company got.
EAST END FOODS SOLD TO EXPONENT
In November 2019, there was another huge development when the East End Foods brand was sold to Exponent, a private equity firm which specialises in South Asian foods. A landmark deal, which made many headlines, it resulted in significant changes to the way South Asian foods were sold and distributed in the UK and enabled the Wouhra family to focus on their many other interests.
EAST END WHOLESALE STORES
In June 2020, after much deliberation, Jas Wouhra, one of the 5 brothers, and his immediate family bought back the wholesale arm of the business, regaining the management and operation of the Aston and Smethwick depots in the process. It was another landmark deal and whilst the family immediately got back to work on running the day to day wholesale business, there were huge rebranding plans in the offering.
After much dedication and hard work, a new company, Lioncroft Wholesale, has been born. With Jas Wouhra as chairman and his son, Dr Jason Wouhra, in the CEO role, the ambitious plans for expansion include a new strategy to embrace the latest advances in digital technology whilst retaining the same family values of Hard work, Respect, Loyalty and Service that have been fundamental since the business began over 50 years ago.