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Golden jubilee marked by new management team

Posted onPosted on 24th Jan

A Mansfield business is proudly celebrating its golden anniversary by appointing a new management team.

Jephsons Shopfitters, which has evolved over the decades to be an established figure in the fast-food industry, recently gave employees the chance to own the company through an Employee Ownership Trust.

Now a new management team, comprising existing staff and bringing together a mixture of experience and strategy, is to lead the company into the next 50 years.

Sales and marketing director Wayne Stringfellow, commenting on behalf of the new management team, said: “As the new owners, we are taking on a thriving company with sound systems already in place.

“It’s our role now to continue with our growth plan and open ourselves up to new markets and stay loyal to the Jephsons brand, core values and purpose we’ve all helped create over the last 50 years.

“Our priorities remain with raising employees skills and abilities; investing in apprenticeships and developments to enhance the company.”

The company started life with Barry Jephson manufacturing and installing windows, doors and frames for the domestic market, all based in a shed at the bottom of his garden in Mansfield Woodhouse.

Throughout the 1960s the company built many prestigious properties in the area before, in the 1970s, switching its focus on to commercial shopfitting.

Barry and fellow founder, his wife Kath Jephson, combined their skills. Barry drove from his technical and practical knowledge, while Kath ran the financial side and gave final approval to most tenders.

Managing to stay ahead of their competition by having the foresight to merge the manufacturing, workshops and head office to a purpose-built site on Maun Way, Mansfield, in 1988.

It gave the team greater capacity, efficiency and functional space, which it still operates from today.

The company has found a niche in the fast-food industry and has built long-standing alliances with industry leaders, such as Costa Coffee and KFC.

Wayne Stringfellow reflected on Jephsons early days, explaining: “You would be working with Barry, not for Barry.

“As a company they allowed you to learn and develop yourself. Their confidence in staff members built stability, learning opportunities, and open communication to all team members.

“From day one the company was, and still is, system led with structures for everyone to understand.”

When the time came for Barry and Kath to hand over the reins to the company, their son, Ian Jephson, and management team member Nigel Schofield, proved to be the safest hands to not only takeover but lead the company to the next level.

The duo expanded their portfolio of clients and extended the services to become the one-stop shop for fast-food shopfitting services, from complete fit-outs to refurbishments.

The partnership provided the team with clear management lines, control and consistency for staff and customers, with Ian directing operations and Nigel directing sales.

For more than 20 years Ian and Nigel created opportunities for apprenticeships and promotions, funded and supported several community initiatives, and secured a nationwide reputation for being the shopfitters of choice.

Ian shared his thoughts on how Jephsons Shopfitters has stood the test of time and continues to grow in 2021, saying: “Three words sum up the core values embedded into the company from the founders and passionately followed today — loyalty, commitment and stability.

“This works both ways from customers and team members. Clients like the stability and trust we will deliver the same people to deal with their project in a way they expect from Jephsons.

“Our anniversary celebration isn’t just about the success of Jephsons over the last 50 years, it’s a celebration of the trust-based relationship we’ve built with customers, dedicated staff, and the communities we serve.”

The company has also put giving back to the community high on its agenda from inception. That has included donating materials to create a Santa’s sleigh for Rotary and sponsoring Mansfield’s Christmas lights. In recent years Ian has been a trustee for a school academy.