FJ Need (Foods) Limited was established in 1973 by the late John Need. It is a family run Cheese Company that is now owned by Sandra Need and run by her son and daughter, Paul and Tracey.
After decades of commitment and determination FJ Need’s has grown and expanded considerably over the years and after many moves it now trades from Spinneyfields Farm in the heart of dairy land in Nantwich, Cheshire. Behind its rural appearance Spinneyfields Farm hides some of the latest technology with a purpose built, state of the art grating line. Its produce of grated, diced and sliced products are specially formulated for the pizza, manufacturing, catering, wholesale and foodservice markets.
John Need, originally from Essex moved to Crewe in the late 1950s. After the move he helped run his fathers chip shop and mobile fresh fish round. In 1962 he met and married his wife Sandra Bailey. When the family began to grow John took numerous jobs to support the family but had an ambition to work for him self.
Whilst working as a driver at Holland’s Cheese based at Caveley Mill, Tarporley his ambition was to materialise. In 1973, after many family discussions around the dinner table, it was decided that he would take a two week holiday from Holland’s Cheese, take the families savings and buy a small amount of cheese. He would then cut the cheese and repack it into smaller blocks to then try to sell on to the local corner shops. If he made a profit in the two weeks he would hand his notice in and start his own business.
After the two weeks the decision was made and he left Holland’s Cheese. The family cut and repacked the cheese from their home in Coleridge Way, Crewe and John built up a customer base selling to small shops through the North West of England and North Wales. However after a short period of time the neighbours were not too pleased that a business was being run from next door and John had to find alternative premises quickly or be forced to give up his business. Determined to carry on John found a cold store by Cumberland Bridge in Crewe, this enabled him to grow the business and was soon able to employ staff and purchase his first wagon.
It was only seven years and a further move to premises at Gresty in Shavington that John came to the decision to sell the company to the Albert Fisher Group plc remaining as Managing Director. After only a year John decided working for a plc was not for him and bought back the company, which was then based at the premises once owned by Holland’s Cheese.
Not one for standing still he envisioned combining his work and family life and transferred the business to Bank House Farm, Crewe Road, a few years later. The farmhouse was converted to the offices and the outbuildings to the family home, the warehouse and production site being on Huntsbank Industrial Estate just next door.
Although John was very proud of the business he had built up he was continually on the look out for new areas to diversify into, seeing a gap in the market for grated cheese he started to look for a site which he could see would provide the space for continual expansion.
He found the ideal property at Mile End Farm, Worleston. The farmhouse became the family home and the outbuildings were converted into offices and a purpose built warehouse was constructed to provide a state of the art new grating line. Mile End Farm was run as a smallholding. The company site was renamed Spinneyfields after the now well established brand name relating to a group of trees on the property.
This dedication brought the beginning of The Salt Co. (Int) Limited which has also been through many changes to meet the demands of the modern day salt user.
In the year 2000 John lost his battle to Cancer, which was a devastating blow to his family. It had been John’s life long ambition to build a business that could be passed on through the generations therefore the family continue to run the business with the same commitment and determination. Paul had joined the company when he was 16 and after working in every aspect of the business was promoted to Managing Director in 1999 and Tracey who had worked in the company’s office from a young age was also Director.
Over the past eleven years the company continues to pride itself on offering customers a high standard of service and quality products including Spinneyfields sauces, butters and mayonnaises. The new edition is A Special Recipe, By Giovanni Bisogno.
In the recent year two of John’s four Grandchildren have also joined the company full time. After all four having worked for the company briefly over the years it is Chloe and Charlotte that have made it a career choice of their own. Chloe is currently studying an Accountancy course alongside her work and hopes to learn as much as possible about the financial side of the business. After completing a Psychology and Criminology degree and working in the retail sector for a while, Charlotte is the newest edition to the workforce and is enjoying learning the Sales and Marketing side of the company. At this time Matthew is studying a Law and Business Degree at Chester University whilst James is pursuing his professional Golf career.
After four decades of business and memories, we are proud of the drive and tenacity that made FJ Need (Foods) what it is today. From the days of the corner shops to producing grated, block and sliced cheese for the Wholesale, Catering, Manufacturing and Foodservice sectors, It has come a long way since 1973, with happy memories, hard memories and exciting memories, from tiny beginnings to today’s £35 million turnover none of it would have happened if it weren’t for Johns courageousness, commitment and love for the cheese world. Its beginnings never forgotten we are excited to see what the future brings.
Cheddar is named after the Cheddar Gorge caves in Somerset where the cheese used to be stored to ripen. Cheddar is one of the most widely made cheeses in the world. King Henry II declared Cheddar cheese to be the best in Britain!